Sub-National Fiscal Activity as a Determinant of Individual Happiness: Ideology Matters

30 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2008

See all articles by Robert W. Wassmer

Robert W. Wassmer

California State University, Sacramento - Department of Public Policy & Administration

Ted Lascher

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Stephan Kroll

California State University, Sacramento - Department of Economics

Date Written: February 20, 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: happiness, GSS, fiscal, ideology, sub-national government policies

JEL Classification: D12, I31

Suggested Citation

Wassmer, Robert William and Lascher, Ted and Kroll, Stephan, Sub-National Fiscal Activity as a Determinant of Individual Happiness: Ideology Matters (February 20, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1096250 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1096250

Robert William Wassmer (Contact Author)

California State University, Sacramento - Department of Public Policy & Administration ( email )

Sacramento, CA 95819-6081
United States
916-278-6304 (Phone)
916-278-6544 (Fax)

Ted Lascher

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Stephan Kroll

California State University, Sacramento - Department of Economics ( email )

6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6082
United States

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