Title: Happily ever after? Egyptians' values and life satisfaction after the Arab Spring

Authors: Ronia Hawash; Shireen AlAzzawi

Addresses: Lacy School of Business, Department of Economics, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, 46208, USA ' Leavey School of Business, Department of Economics, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, 95053, USA

Abstract: The Arab Spring provoked significant political turbulence in the region which impacted people's perceptions of happiness and life satisfaction. People's initial values regarding the importance of political participation, government accountability, democracy and economic equality also affected these perceptions and were strongly shaped by these changes. Egypt is one of the few countries that experienced both a high intensity of conflict and regime change in the region. We rely on data from two waves of the World Values Survey, one conducted shortly before, and another immediately after the uprising. Using logistic regressions and difference-in-difference estimation, our results show that Egyptians are less happy and have lower life satisfaction yet are more interested in politics and income equality in comparison to before the Arab Spring. Furthermore, Egyptians who valued politics, democracy, and income equality highest witnessed the steepest decline in their happiness and life satisfaction after the Arab Spring.

Keywords: Arab Spring; happiness; life satisfaction; Egypt; politics; democracy; income equality; world values survey; MENA; Middle East and North Africa; revolution; conflict.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHD.2021.117784

International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2021 Vol.6 No.4, pp.325 - 350

Received: 10 Jun 2020
Accepted: 14 Nov 2020

Published online: 24 Sep 2021 *

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