Happiness Before and after an Election: An Analysis Based on a Daily Survey Around Japan's 2009 Election

35 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2015

See all articles by Yusuke Kinari

Yusuke Kinari

Kyushu University

Fumio Ohtake

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research

Miles S. Kimball

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics; University of Colorado Boulder; Center for Economic and Social Research, USC; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Shoko Morimoto

Osaka University - Graduate School of Economics

Yoshiro Tsutsui

Osaka University - Graduate School of Economics

Date Written: January 30, 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates whether the Japanese voters became happy and/or unhappy due to the results of the General Election in 2009. We conducted a daily web survey for seven days before and after the election, obtaining 1068 responses. Estimating a fixed effects model, we found that supporters of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the winner, became significantly happier, and supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) and New Komeito, the losers, became significantly unhappier on the day following the election. However, happiness returned to the previous level in one or two days, implying people adapted to the news very quickly. Dividing those who support the policies of DPJ into two groups, those who expect material benefits from the victory of DPJ and those who do not, we demonstrated that the reason why the supporters of the winner (DPJ) felt happy was not because they obtained material benefits from the change of government. We also found that the happiness level of those whose expectation of the election results were realized did not change, while that of those whose expectation differed from the reality changed substantially. In a word, only unexpected results matter.

Keywords: happiness, election, expectation, survey, Japan

JEL Classification: I31, D72

Suggested Citation

Kinari, Yusuke and Ohtake, Fumio and Kimball, Miles S. and Morimoto, Shoko and Tsutsui, Yoshiro, Happiness Before and after an Election: An Analysis Based on a Daily Survey Around Japan's 2009 Election (January 30, 2015). ISER Discussion Paper No. 924. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2561125

Yusuke Kinari

Kyushu University ( email )

6-19-1, Hakozaki, Higashiku
Fukuoka, 812-8581
Japan

Fumio Ohtake

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research ( email )

1-1 Yamadaoka
Suita
Osaka, 565-0871
Japan

Miles S. Kimball

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Economics ( email )

611 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1220
United States
734-764-2375 (Phone)
734-764-2769 (Fax)

University of Colorado Boulder ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303.492.8295 (Phone)
303.492.8960 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.colorado.edu/Economics/people/faculty/kimball.html

Center for Economic and Social Research, USC ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Shoko Morimoto

Osaka University - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

1-7 Machikaneyama
Toyonaka, Osaka, 560-0043
Japan

Yoshiro Tsutsui (Contact Author)

Osaka University - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

1-7 Machikaneyama
Toyonaka, 560-0043
Japan

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