Households in Tajikistan are particularly vulnerable to shocks. Among many other indicators, the Listening to Tajikistan (L2TJK) survey continuously monitors life satisfaction in Tajikistan, providing information that can help to quantify the severity of shocks, and their importance for wellbeing.
A comprehensive review of the first 24 rounds of the L2TJK survey (covering the period between May 2015 to December 2016) has found strong associations between monthly changes in subjective wellbeing on the one hand, and food security, income, employment, sending household members abroad, illness, and paying for medical expenses on the other. Detailed results on these issues can be found in the 2-page briefs on the right-hand side of this page.
Identifying the drivers of changes in subjective wellbeing and life satisfaction is important because many traditional economic indicators, which tend to focus on monetary values, do not capture similar information. For instance, life satisfaction is often only weakly associated with overall economic activity, a finding commonly referred to as the Easterlin Paradox. The differences between monetary and subjective measures of welfare can be striking: if we were to focus on GDP only, we would be blind to the fact that life satisfaction in Tajikistan is much higher than the average in the region, even in comparison to richer countries (figure 1).