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Decentralization, happiness and the perception of institutions

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  • Díaz Serrano, Lluís
  • Rodríguez Pose, Andrés

Abstract

This paper analyses whether the different powers and resources at the disposal of local and regional governments across Europe deliver greater satisfaction with political institutions and lead to greater personal happiness. The analysis uses microdata from the four available waves of the European social survey (2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008), including more than 160,000 observations of individuals living in 29 European countries. Our results reveal that political and fiscal decentralization have a positive and significant effect on individuals’ overall happiness. Fiscal decentralization also exerts a significant effect on the level of satisfaction with political and economic institutions and with the education and health systems, whereas the effect of political decentralization on these variables is more limited. The results show that citizens seem to be happier with the actual capacity of their local governments to deliver than with the general principle that they can have a say on their daily politics and policies. Keywords: Happiness, well-being, satisfaction, fiscal and political decentralization, Europe. JEL codes: H11, H77

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2072/151812.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:urv:wpaper:2072/151812

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Keywords: Felicitat; Benestar; Satisfacció; Descentralització administrativa; 32 - Política;

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Cited by:
  1. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Kristina Maslauskaite, 2011. "Can policy make us happier? Individual characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and life satisfaction in Central and Eastern Europe," Working Papers 2011-19, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  2. Nadir Preziosi, 2013. "Life is Getting Worse in ESS Data: Is This Due to Micro or Macro Factors?," Bruges European Economic Research Papers 28, European Economic Studies Department, College of Europe.

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