Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 113–127 | Cite as

Informal Food Production in the Enlarged European Union

  • Jens Alber
  • Ulrich KohlerEmail author
Article

Abstract

How widespread is the production of food in old and new member states of the European Union and what is the social meaning or logic of such activities? We show that growing food is (a) more widespread in former communist countries than in traditional market economies and (b) is predominantly a hobby or recreational activity in affluent countries, but a coping strategy in reaction to experienced difficulties in making ends meet in poorer nations, and especially so in the former communist countries.

Keywords

Subsistence economy Subjective well-being Transformation countries Food production 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We wish to thank Jan Paul Heisig and an anonymous reviewer of Social Indicators Research for very helpful comments.

References

  1. Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Alber, J., Anderson, R., Delhey, J., Domansky, H., Fahey, T., Keck, W., Maitre, B., Nauenburg, R., Olagnero, M., Ostrowska, A., Saraceno, C., & Whelan, C. (2004). Quality of life in Europe. First results of a New Pan-European survey. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  3. Argyle, M. (1999). Causes and correlates of happiness. In D. Kahnemann, E. Diener, & N. Schwarz (Eds.), Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology (pp. 353–373). New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Blanchflower, D. G., & Oswald, A. J. (2004). Well-being over time in Britain and the USA. Journal of Public Economics, 88, 1359–1386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Böhnke, P. (2005). First European quality of life survey: Life satisfaction, happiness and sense of belonging. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.Google Scholar
  6. Chow, G. C. (1960). Tests of equality between sets of coefficients in two linear regressions. Econometrica, 28(3), 591–605.Google Scholar
  7. Delhey, J. (2004). Life satisfaction in the enlarged Europe. European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (http://www.eurofound.eu.int/publications/EF0437EN.pdf), Luxembourg.
  8. Di Tella, R., MacCulloch, R. J., & Oswald, A. J. (2001). Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness. American Economic Review, 91(1), 335–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Easterlin, R. A. (1974). Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In P. A. David & M. W. Reder (Eds.), Nations and households in economic growth: Essays in honour of Moses Abramowitz (pp. 89–125). New York and London: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Easterlin, R. A. (1995). Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 27(1), 35–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Easterlin, R. A. (2005). Feeding the illusion of growth and happiness: A reply to Hagerty and Veenhoven. Social Indicators Research, 74, 426–443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2000). Happiness, economy and institutions. Economic Journal, 110(446), 918–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Frey, B. S., & Stutzer, A. (2002). What can economists learn from happiness research? Journal of Economic Literature, 40(2), 402–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gould, W. (2005). Computing the Chow statistic. URL http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/stat/chow.html. Stata FAQs of the StataCorp LP, College Station, TX.
  15. Graham, C., & Pettinato, S. (2001). Happiness, markets and democracy: Latin America in comparative perspective. Journal of Happiness Studies, 2(3), 237–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hagerty, M., & Veenhoven, R. (2003). Wealth and happiness revisited – growing national income does go with greater happiness. Social Indicators Research, 64, 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Kohler, U. (2008). Assessing the quality of European surveys. Towards an open method of coordination for survey data. In J. Alber, T. Fahey, & C. Saraceno (Eds.), Handbook of quality of life in the enlarged European Union (in press) (chap. 17, pp. 405–424). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Kornai, J. (1992). The socialist system. The political economy of communism. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  19. Layard, R. (2005). Happiness. Lessons from a new science. Harmondsworth: Penguin Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nauenburg, R., & Mertel, B. (2004). European quality of life survey. Technical report. Draft version. Unpublished paper of the Wissenschaftzentrum Berlin, May 2004.Google Scholar
  21. Rose, R. (1996). What is Europe? A dynamic perspective. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.Google Scholar
  22. Rose, R., & Thikomirov, Y. (1993). Who grows food in Russia and Eastern Europe? Post-Soviet Geography, 34(2), 111–126.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Inequality and Social IntegrationSocial Science Research Center (WZB)BerlinGermany

Personalised recommendations