State Intervention and Life Satisfaction Reconsidered: The Role of Governance Quality and Resource Misallocation
Politics & Policy, Vol. 42, Issue 1, February 2014
45 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 1, 2014
To what extent does state intervention into the market condition how individuals subjectively experience the lives that they lead? Prevailing attempts to understand the relationship between state intervention and subjective well-being have yielded mixed empirical results. However, these differences result from omitted variable biases, not different methodological choices. Drawing on insights from the new social risk and quality of governance literatures, this paper contends that the policy orientation and administrative quality of welfare state programs jointly condition the effect of state intervention on life satisfaction. State intervention exerts a strong positive effect on perceived satisfaction with life when the quality of administrative institutions is high and policy interventions focus on insuring individuals against newer, postindustrial forms of market risk. This main hypothesis is tested and confirmed against an empirical analysis of survey data taken from Wave 5 of the World Values Survey.
Keywords: Welfare, Post-Industrial Market Risks, Quality of Government, Subjective Well-Being, Life Satisfaction
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