Essays on well-being during crisis in Europe

  • Adi Pierewan

Student thesis: Phd


The claim that economic crisis matters for well-being seems intuitive; supporting evidence, however, remains elusive. The present study aims to examine the individual and contextual determinants of well-being across regions in Europe during the 2007-2008 economic crisis. This study contributes to the existing research on the determinants of well-being in three ways. First, while most studies explain the determinants of well-being in the context of non-crisis, this study examines the determinants during a period of crisis. Second, while most research on well-being focuses on cross-national comparisons of well-being, this study investigates variations at both the regional and national levels. Third, while most studies use either individual or aggregate analyses to examine the determinants of well-being, this study uses multilevel models.This study uses datasets that combine individual, regional and country level data. Individual data is taken from the 2008 European Values Study (EVS) and the 2004-2010 European Social Survey (ESS). Regional level data comes from Eurostat and Euroboundarymaps, while country level data comes from the Inglehart Index, UNU-WIDER and Esping-Andersen categorisation on welfare states. To analyse the data, this study uses various multilevel models including multivariate multilevel model, multilevel simultaneous equations model and spatial dependence multilevel model.The main findings show that during the crisis under consideration, well-being is associated not only with individual determinants, but also with regional and national determinants. Results suggest that happiness and health are positively correlated at individual, regional and national levels. In terms of social capital, this study shows the reciprocal relationship between association membership and trust. Frequent Internet use at the time of crisis is positively associated with well-being. Finally, the findings suggest that, by means of unobserved factors, well-being is spatially correlated with the well-being of those neighbouring regions.
Date of Award1 Aug 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGindo Tampubolon (Supervisor) & Ronald Ramlogan (Supervisor)


  • European regions
  • multilevel model
  • well-being
  • economic crisis

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