Income Inequality, Government Welfare Effort, and Subjective Well-Being: Three Essays

The dissertation consists of three essays on the relations of income inequality and government welfare effort with subjective well-being. The first essay introduces the concepts, reviews the literature linking income inequality and government welfare effort to subjective well-being, and identifies the research gaps. The paper concludes that the relationship between income inequality and subjective well-being is determined by how inequality is defined and what it signals. Similarly, the relationship between government welfare effort and subjective wellbeing is determined by factors such as ideology, quality of governance, and the magnitude of social assistance “stigma” effects.