Happy Partisans and Extreme Political Views: The Impact of National versus Local Representation on Well-being
31 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2018 Last revised: 15 Nov 2018
Date Written: March 27, 2018
The political party of elected officials can affect the happiness of the voting public through several different channels. Partisan voters will be happier whenever a member of their party controls political office regardless of the policies implemented. It is hypothesized that congruence between individual party identity and state politician affiliations should have a greater impact on citizen happiness than congruence with politicians at the national level due to results from the literature on Tiebout sorting. It is further hypothesized that individuals with extreme ideological views may report greater happiness as their ideology fulfills basic psychological needs for certainty and structure. Using data from the Generalized Social Survey the effect of party congruence of individuals with national and state politicians on happiness is estimated. The effect of extreme ideological political views on happiness is also estimated. Results find that congruence with presidential party affiliation has a much greater impact on happiness than congruence with national legislative affiliation, gubernatorial, or state legislative affiliation contradicting the hypothesis. Those who possess extreme political views are also found to report higher levels of happiness.
Keywords: well-being; happiness; partisanship; ideology; politics
JEL Classification: D7, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation