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Happy Voters

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Author Info

  • Liberini, Federica

    (ETH, Zurich)

  • Redoano, Michela

    (University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

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    Abstract

    In this paper we investigate whether or not recent initiatives taken by governments and international organizations to come up with indicators of SubjectiveWell Being (SWB) to inform policy makers go in the same direction as citizens expectations on what policy makers should do. We test retrospective voting hypotheses by using standard measures of SWB as a proxy for utility instead of the commonly used indicators of economic and …nancial circumstances. Using the British Household Panel Survey Data we …nd that citizens who are satis…ed with their life are more likely to cast their vote in favour of the ruling party, even taking into account ideological preferences. We show that SWB in‡uences voting decision even when the event a¤ecting the SWB is beyond the government’s control, like the spouse death.

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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/research/wpfeed/169-2013_redoano.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 169.

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    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:169

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    Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Wellbeing; Political Competition; Swing Voter Hypothesis; Retrospective Voting.;

    References

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    1. 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.
    2. Matthew Rabin., 1997. "Psychology and Economics," Economics Working Papers 97-251, University of California at Berkeley.
    3. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
    4. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2003. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 371, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "Daughters and Left-Wing Voting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 213-227, May.
    6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    7. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
    8. Brender, Adi, 2003. "The effect of fiscal performance on local government election results in Israel: 1989-1998," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(9-10), pages 2187-2205, September.
    9. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2005. "Partisan Social Happiness," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 367-393.
    10. Gail Pacheco & Thomas Lange, 2010. "Political participation and life satisfaction: a cross-European analysis," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(9), pages 686-702, September.
    11. Peltzman, Sam, 1987. "Economic Conditions and Gubernatorial Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 293-97, May.
    12. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2005. "Do Divorcing Couples Become Happier By Breaking Up?," IZA Discussion Papers 1788, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Patrick Flavin & Michael Keane, 2012. "Life Satisfaction and Political Participation: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 63-78, March.
    14. Nattavudh Powdthavee & Paul Dolan, Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Electing Happiness: Does Happiness Effect Voting and do Elections Affect Happiness," Discussion Papers 08/30, Department of Economics, University of York.
    15. Kahneman, Daniel & Thaler, Richard H, 1991. "Economic Analysis and the Psychology of Utility: Applications to Compensation Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 341-46, May.
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