How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being
AbstractIn this paper we employ World Values Survey measures of life satisfaction as though they were direct measures of utility, and use them to evaluate alternative features and forms of government in large international samples. We find that life satisfaction is more closely linked to several World Bank measures of the quality of government than to real per capita incomes, in simple correlations and more fully specified models explaining international differences in life satisfaction. We test for differences in the relative importance of different aspects of good government, and find a hierarchy of preferences that depends on the level of development. The ability of governments to provide a trustworthy environment, and to deliver services honestly and efficiently, appears to be of paramount importance for countries with worse governance and lower incomes. The balance changes once acceptable levels of efficiency, trust and incomes are achieved, when more value is attached to building and maintaining the institutions of electoral democracy.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11988.
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Note: EFG POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty - - - General Welfare
- P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-02-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2006-02-26 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-LTV-2006-02-26 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-PBE-2006-02-26 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-2006-02-26 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2006-02-26 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-UPT-2006-02-26 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
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.:
- Torsten Persson, 2003. "Consequences of Constitutions," NBER Working Papers 10170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Social capital and the quality of Government : evidence from the U.S. States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2504, The World Bank.
- Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004.
"Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development,"
Journal of Economic Growth,
Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
- Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
246, CESifo Group Munich.
- John F. Helliwell, 1994. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J, 1991.
"Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-43, May.
- Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Stephen Knack, 2001. "Aid Dependence and the Quality of Governance: Cross-Country Empirical Tests," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 310-329, October.
- Torsten Persson, 2002.
"Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?,"
Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
- John F. Helliwell, 2002.
"How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being,"
NBER Working Papers
9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.