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Welfare State and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Public Health Care

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  • KAISA KOTAKORPI
  • JANI-PETRI LAAMANEN

Abstract

We examine the link between the welfare state and citizens' subjective wellbeing by using evidence from public health care services. By combining local-level data on public health care and individual-level data on life satisfaction, we show that relatively high expenditures in health care have a positive effect on individuals' life satisfaction in our data. We find some evidence for an 'ends-against-the-middle' equilibrium in provision of public health care, where middle-income individuals prefer higher public expenditure than low-income or high-income individuals. Further, our results indicate that the welfare benefit of public provision depends on individual political orientation. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 77 (2010)
Issue (Month): 307 (07)
Pages: 565-583

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:77:y:2010:i:307:p:565-583

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  1. Bernard M.S. van Praag & Barbara E. Baarsma, 2004. "Using Happiness Surveys to Value Intangibles: The Case of Airport Noise," CESifo Working Paper Series 1163, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
  4. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Rodríguez Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?," Working Papers 2072/222195, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  2. Zohal Hessami, 2010. "The Size and Composition of Government Spending in Europe and Its Impact on Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(3), pages 346-382, 08.
  3. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Kristina Maslauskaite, 2011. "Can policy make us happier? Individual characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and life satisfaction in Central and Eastern Europe," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 22, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.
  4. Seoyong Kim & Donggeun Kim, 2012. "Does Government Make People Happy?: Exploring New Research Directions for Government’s Roles in Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 875-899, October.
  5. Eiji Yamamura, 2012. "The Effects of Information Asymmetry and Government Size on Happiness: A Case Study from Japan," The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1), pages 7-20, March.
  6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2011. "International Happiness," NBER Working Papers 16668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Yamamura, Eiji, 2011. "Effect of social capital on income distribution preferences: comparison of neighborhood externality between high- and low-income households," MPRA Paper 32557, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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