Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Does Good Governance Enhance Happiness: A Cross Nation Study

Contents:

Author Info

  • Roma Debnath

    ()

  • Ravi Shankar

    ()

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The purpose of this paper is to analyze the efficiency of the countries over the period of 10 years by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA). Based on rational and factual parameters such as freedom of press, freedom of religion, percentage of export in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), index of globalization, life expectancy at birth, gender ratio etc., this paper attempts to measure the efficiency of happiness. A combination of social and economic factors has been used to measure technical efficiency. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, it measures the relative efficiency of all the countries included in the study. The nations have been ranked as per their relative efficiency and the peer group has been formed. Second a comparison between the rich and the poor countries have been done to test empirically whether the economic growth enhances the happiness among people. Presently, more than 3,000 studies have been published on happiness and Veenhoven in 2004 created a database called World Database of Happiness. The World Database of Happiness has attempted to present the available research findings on happiness. Part of the findings on happiness in nations is available in ‘States of nations’. For the research purpose, States of Nations and the data published by have been considered. Although happiness has been quantified and the existing literature has sufficient empirical evidences of the same, in the present context, the relative efficiency has been calculated for the countries on basis of objective and subjective happiness parameters. As per the literature, happiness has two aspects (1) objective and (2) subjective. Objective parameters are external to the individuals and covers material living parameters viz. GDP growth, income, nutrition, mortality rate, literacy etc. However, Subjective indicators measure the quality of life of the individuals. These are summarized as ‘‘subjective well-being’’. The various parameters considered in the study capture different aspects of happiness. The result shows how the government can increase the happiness of the people by analyzing the behavior and expectations. People express their preference explicitly about political parties, religion believes, law and order situation, trust in official institutions etc. Although, the behavior of people largely depends upon availability of goods and services in the market, the government can make budgets according to priority or preferences of people. Another way to increase happiness can be done by analyzing the peer group, which is an outcome of DEA. This shows the nations which are similar in terms of their economic and social conditions. The government can compare the prevailing conditions in different countries that improve the condition in their respective country. This could be an effective method as some of the parameters can be replicable in order to make people happier. The limitation of this study is lack of availability of data for many countries. As the number of countries increases, a change in the relative efficiency can be observed. Therefore, a future study can be conducted where the relevant data can be collected and a more global result can be obtained. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11205-013-0275-1
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 116 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 235-253

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:116:y:2014:i:1:p:235-253

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/11135

    Order Information:
    Web: http://link.springer.de/orders.htm

    Related research

    Keywords: Governance; Happiness; Cluster analysis; Data envelopment analysis; Cross national;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Graham, Carol & Eggers, Andrew & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2004. "Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 319-342, November.
    2. A. Türksever & Gündüz Atalik, 2001. "Possibilities and Limitations for the Measurement of the Quality of Life in Urban Areas," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 53(2), pages 163-187, February.
    3. Wim Kalmijn & Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Measuring Inequality of Happiness in Nations: In Search for Proper Statistics," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 357-396, December.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh & Heidi Smith & Liang Shao, 1995. "National differences in reported subjective well-being: Why do they occur?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 7-32, January.
    6. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2001. "Identifying Welfare Effects from Subjective Questions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(271), pages 335-57, August.
    7. Jeff Borland & Joe Hirschberg & Jenny Lye, 2001. "Data reduction of discrete responses: an application of cluster analysis," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 149-153.
    8. Hirschberg, Joseph G. & Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Slottje, Daniel J., 1991. "Cluster analysis for measuring welfare and quality of life across countries," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 131-150, October.
    9. Kenny, Charles, 1999. "Does Growth Cause Happiness, or Does Happiness Cause Growth?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 3-25.
    10. Joseph G. Hirschberg & Esfandiar Maasoumi & Daniel J. Slottje, 2001. "Clusters of attributes and well-being in the USA," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 445-460.
    11. Ruut Veenhoven, 1996. "Developments in satisfaction-research," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 1-46, January.
    12. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
    13. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
    14. Hirschberg, Joseph G. & Slottje, Daniel J., 1994. "An empirical Bayes approach to analyzing earnings functions for various occupations and industries," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 65-79, March.
    15. Hirschberg, J.G. & Maasoumi, E. & Slottje, D.J., 1998. "The Environment and the Quality of Life in the United States Over Time," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 654, The University of Melbourne.
    16. Grant Duncan, 2010. "Should Happiness-Maximization be the Goal of Government?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 163-178, April.
    17. Storrs McCall, 1975. "Quality of life," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 229-248, September.
    18. Elia Kacapyr, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of satisfaction with life," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 400-416, May.
    19. Ed Diener & Eunkook Suh, 1997. "Measuring Quality Of Life: Economic, Social, And Subjective Indicators," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 189-216, January.
    20. Bolle, Friedel & Okhrin, Yarema & Vogel, Claudia, 2009. "A note on interdependent happiness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 713-721, October.
    21. Jan Ott, 2010. "Good Governance and Happiness in Nations: Technical Quality Precedes Democracy and Quality Beats Size," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 353-368, June.
    22. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:116:y:2014:i:1:p:235-253. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.