Curtailment of Civil Liberties and Subjective Life Satisfaction

47 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 22 May 2020

See all articles by Lisa Windsteiger

Lisa Windsteiger

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Michael Ahlheim

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: May 20, 2020

Abstract

This analysis focuses on the freedom suspension policy choices in the context of the 2020 pandemic crisis in March and April 2020 in Germany. It uses reactance as a measure of the intensity of a preference for freedom to explain the variation in the observed subjective life satisfaction loss. The pandemic crisis is likely to reduce life satisfaction for a number of reasons, but suspension of basic freedom rights emerges as an important factor. Diļ¬€erences in reactance from the lowest to the highest decile lead to an additional loss in subjective life satisfaction of 0.2 points, which is roughly 17% of the average loss in life satisfaction.

Keywords: COVID-19, survey experiment, life satisfaction, reactance

Suggested Citation

Windsteiger, Lisa and Ahlheim, Michael and Konrad, Kai A., Curtailment of Civil Liberties and Subjective Life Satisfaction (May 20, 2020). Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2020-05, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3606563

Lisa Windsteiger (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

Michael Ahlheim

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics ( email )

Schloss-Mittelhof (Ost)
70593 Stuttgart
Germany
++49-711-459-23596 (Phone)
++49-711-459-24081 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ahlheim-hohenheim.de

Kai A. Konrad

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/pub/home.cfm

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

90-98 Goswell Road
London, EC1V 7RR
United Kingdom

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

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, 53072
Germany

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