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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)

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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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
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Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:169

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Related research

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

References

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  1. A Oswald & N Powdthavee, 2008. "Daughters and Left Wing Voting," Discussion Papers 08/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 84, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
  6. 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).
  7. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 1999. "Partisan social happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 22-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  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. Chamberlain, Gary, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 225-38, January.
  10. Andrew Clark & Fabrice Etilé & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Claudia Senik & Karine Van Der Straeten, 2004. "Heterogeneity in reported well-being:Evidence from twelve European countries," PSE Working Papers hal-00242916, HAL.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  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. Peltzman, Sam, 1987. "Economic Conditions and Gubernatorial Elections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 293-97, May.
  15. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
  16. 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.
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