New episode of the EBRD podcast available for download
The latest episode of the Pocket Economics podcast looks at the correlation between economic growth and the increase in life satisfaction across the EBRD regions. It explains what makes us happy and how to measure happiness.
Drawing data from the latest Life in Transition Survey, the EBRD’s Chief Economist Sergei Guriev points out that satisfaction levels in countries that underwent a transition from a planned to a market economy have increased and are converging with those in more prosperous Western Europe.
Measuring life satisfaction and understanding its determinants, in his opinion, is essential when designing sound economic policies.
“This is a very important survey for us,” he tells Jonathan Charles, EBRD Managing Director, Communications. “Life satisfaction and other beliefs are subjective but they determine how people vote, how they act, and that explains politicians’ support for reforms.”
Jobs, healthcare, corruption and inequality still seem to be pressing issues in the countries where the EBRD invests. “When people say we worry about inequality, we should take it seriously”, Mr Guriev says.
It took 25 years of sometimes painful reforms, but according to Mr Guriev, the happiness gap between the transition region and Western European comparator countries has finally closed.