Political Participation and Quality of Life

Posted: 25 Apr 2011

See all articles by Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Political Science

Matthew S. Winters

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Political Science; Institute for Corruption Studies

Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

Theoretical literatures on procedural utility and the psychological benefits of political participation suggest that people who participate in political activities will be more satisfied with their lives because of the resulting feelings of autonomy, competence and relatedness. Individual-level data from Latin America show—in one dataset under study but not in another—a positive and statistically significant relationship between voting and life satisfaction. Variation in desire to vote as measured in Costa Rica, however, suggests that the causal arrow may run from happiness to voting. The use of multilevel models further reveals a consistent—but untheorized—cross-country negative relationship between enforced compulsory voting and happiness. Only preliminary results are found regarding the relationship between some other forms of political participation and life satisfaction.

Suggested Citation

Weitz-Shapiro, Rebecca and Winters, Matthew S., Political Participation and Quality of Life (July 2008). IDB Working Paper No. 538. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1820926

Rebecca Weitz-Shapiro (Contact Author)

Brown University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 1844
Providence, RI 02912
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://vivo.brown.edu/display/rweitzsh

Matthew S. Winters

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Political Science ( email )

702 S. Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/mswinters1/home

Institute for Corruption Studies

Stevenson Hall 425
Normal, IL 61790-4200
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
598
PlumX Metrics