Beyond Outcomes: Measuring Procedural Utility

University of Zurich Economics Working Paper No. 76

30 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2004

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 15, 2004

Abstract

People not only obtain utility from actual outcomes but also from the conditions which lead to these outcomes. The paper proposes an economic concept of this notion of procedural utility. Preferences beyond outcome can be manifold. We distinguish procedural utility people get from institutions as such, i.e. from how allocative and redistributive decisions are taken, procedural utility from activities towards which people have an intrinsic attitude and procedural utility from the way being treated in interaction with other people. In an empirical application, it is studied whether people gain procedural utility from participating in the political decision-making process itself, irrespective of the outcome. Utility is measured by individuals' reported subjective well-being. We find that participation rights provide procedural utility in terms of a feeling of self-determination and influence. In contrast, actual participation and use of participation rights does not.

Keywords: Procedural utility, subjective well-being, political participation, participation

JEL Classification: D60, D63, D72, H73, I31

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois, Beyond Outcomes: Measuring Procedural Utility (June 15, 2004). University of Zurich Economics Working Paper No. 76. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=569347 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.569347

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
129
rank
208,236
Abstract Views
2,215
PlumX Metrics