Curtailment of Civil Liberties and Subjective Life Satisfaction
47 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 22 May 2020
Date Written: May 20, 2020
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. Diﬀerences 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
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