Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 173–204 | Cite as

Income and Satisfaction in Russia

  • Peggy SchynsEmail author


The Russian Federation has undergone some drastic economic, social-cultural, and political changes since 1989. The income of nearly half of the population has sunk below the poverty line, which has had an enormous impact on their emotional life. In this study, the relationship between income and satisfaction in Russia was examined. Three theories – need, comparison, and personality theory – were considered. Data were drawn from the first three waves of the Russet panel study (1993–1995). Russians were a little more satisfied with their income and life when they had a higher income. A positive change in income caused an increase in income-satisfaction over a one-year period. Results also showed that there was a reciprocal relationship between income-satisfaction and life satisfaction, indicating that in addition to bottom-up effects, top-down mechanisms were also at work: life satisfaction is partly a sum of domain satisfactions, but it also reflects a more trait-like character. Furthermore, within comparison theory, social comparison had the largest effect on income-satisfaction, closely followed by income needed (person-environment fit theory), and income deserved (equity theory) with the smallest effect. The need effect of income on income-satisfaction became non-significant when controlled for these three comparison mechanisms. Correction for measurement error of relationships between the endogenous variables resulted in overall stronger effects.

income life satisfaction income-satisfaction top-down bottom-up discussion structural equation modeling 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Social Sciences, M6-13Erasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands

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