Happiness, Economy and Institutions
40 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2000
Date Written: January 2000
A cross-regional econometric analysis is conducted suggesting that institutional factors in the form of direct democracy (via initiatives and referenda) and of federal structure (local autonomy) systematically and sizeably raise self-reported individual well-being. This positive effect can be attributed to political outcomes closer to voters' preferences as well as to the procedural utility of political participation. Moreover, the results of "standard" microeconometric well-being functions previously published are supported. Unemployment among economic variables and bad health among demographic variables have a strongly depressing effect on happiness. Income only significantly raises happiness for higher income groups.
JEL Classification: D72, H10, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation