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Comparative Economic Performance and Institutional Change in OECD Countries: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data

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Author Info

  • Heinz Welsch

    ()
    (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)

  • Jan Kühling

    ()
    (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics)

Abstract

We use data on the subjective well-being (SWB) of more than 91,000 individuals in 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to assess the well-being effects of unemployment, inflation and national income growth. The relationships found are used to construct an index of national economic performance in terms of SWB. Applying the index to the period 1990-2009, we find that economic performance has improved in OECD overall and in the majority of countries, and that there has been a convergence of performance within the OECD. We then present evidence that OECD countries’ economic performance, as measured, is positively related to institutional change towards more trade openness and better governance quality.

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File URL: http://www.vwl.uni-oldenburg.de/download/DP_V-342_11.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number V-342-11.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision: Dec 2011
Publication status: Published in Oldenburg Working Papers V-342-11
Handle: RePEc:old:dpaper:342

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Postal: 26111 Oldenburg
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Web page: http://www.vwl.uni-oldenburg.de/
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Related research

Keywords: economic performance; institutional change; trade; subjective well-being; OECD;

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References

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  1. Fischer, Justina AV, 2010. "Accounting for Unobserved Country Heterogeneity in Happiness Research: Country Fixed Effects versus Region Fixed Effects," MPRA Paper 22272, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being: Reassessing the Easterlin Paradox," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 39(1 (Spring), pages 1-102.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2008. "Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
  4. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  5. 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.
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  8. Heinz Welsch, 2007. "Macroeconomics and life satisfaction: Revisiting the "misery index"," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 237-251, November.
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  11. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
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  13. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Judge, William Q. & McNatt, D. Brian & Xu, Weichu, 2011. "The antecedents and effects of national corruption: A meta-analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 93-103, January.
  15. 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.
  16. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 22-42, April.
  17. Heinz Welsch, 2011. "The magic triangle of macroeconomics: how do European countries score?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 71-93, January.
  18. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
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