Sub-National Fiscal Activity as a Determinant of Individual Happiness: Ideology Matters
Robert W. Wassmer
California State University, Sacramento - Department of Public Policy & Administration
affiliation not provided to SSRN
California State University, Sacramento - Department of Economics
February 20, 2008
Though there has been a recent outpouring of studies on the determinants of individual happiness, there remains a paucity of research on the influence of specific sub-national government policies. Additionally, theoretical expectations about how fiscal variables influence happiness are unclear, making further empirical research imperative. Combining survey data and aggregate information about state and local government revenue and expenditures within the United States, we draw inferences about whether or not such activities affect individual happiness. We find no indication that the overall level of state or local fiscal activity affects life satisfaction. However, we offer evidence that personal happiness depends in part on the mix of state and local fiscal activity. Perhaps more importantly, we find that political ideology mediates the influence of a variety of fiscal variables on happiness.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: happiness, GSS, fiscal, ideology, sub-national government policies
JEL Classification: D12, I31working papers series
Date posted: February 22, 2008
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