Changes in subjective quality of life after the economic crisis in Hungary

Eva Ivony


This paper is written to describe the changes in the subjective quality of life of the Hungarian population and its different social-demographic groups after the economic and financial crisis of 2008. These changes are analyzed in this study based on pooled cross-sectional data from the European Social Surveys by using a multidimensional quality of life index. Applying the difference-indifferences method, the study compares two periods: before and after the crisis. The theoretical frame of this research is given by the early welfare theory of Eric Allardt (1973), and its revised version from 1993. Results show that the average subjective quality of life of Hungarians had not changed significantly by 2012. However, the quality-of-life differences of groups specified by marital status and labor market presence increased after the crisis, but that of other dichotomous groups determined on the bases of subjective health, safety and income adequacy did not. In addition, the life quality benefits of the optimists also increased by 2012. These findings are valid despite the fact that the year 2012 can be viewed as the culminated effect of the recovery period, according to several macroeconomic, inequality and subjective indicators. Overall, the study is novel in three ways: first, it examines not simply the effect of the economic crisis of 2008 on subjective quality of life, but also its effect on the difference between social groups; second, the research employs a new multidimensional index for evaluating subjective quality of life; and third, it provides new evidence to support set-point theory.


crisis, having-loving-being, subjective quality of life

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ISSN: 2062-087X

DOI: 10.14267/issn.2062-087X