Happy Voters

37 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2014

See all articles by Federica Liberini

Federica Liberini

KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Michela Redoano

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Eugenio Proto

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 21, 2014

Abstract

Motivated by recent interest and initiatives taken by several governments and international organizations to come up with indicators of well-being to inform policy makers, we test if subjective well-being measures (SWB) can be employed to study voting behaviour. Controlling for financial and economic circumstances, we find that when citizens are more satisfied with their life, they are also more likely to cast their vote in favor of the ruling party. We address the possible concern of reverse causality in the relationship between SWB and political support by (i) analysing the political behaviour of a sample of ideologically neutral voters, and (ii) by identifying the effect of SWB on voting intentions in individuals’ response to an exogenous shock of (un)happiness (i.e. the death of husband or wife). We conclude that SWB explains voting decisions, even when the event affecting well-being is beyond government’s control.

Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness, retrospective voting

JEL Classification: H10, D60, D00, D10

Suggested Citation

Liberini, Federica and Redoano, Michela and Proto, Eugenio, Happy Voters (October 21, 2014). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2512699

Federica Liberini

KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

Michela Redoano (Contact Author)

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
+44 24 7652 3474 (Phone)
+44 24 7652 3032 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Eugenio Proto

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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