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Happiness, Economy and Institutions

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

Abstract

A cross-regional econometric analysis suggests that institutional factors in the form of direct democracy (via initiatives and referenda) and of federal structure (local autonomy) systematically and sizeably raise self-reported individual well-being. This positive effect can be attributed to political outcomes closer to voters' preferences, as well as to the procedural utility of political participation. Moreover, the results of "standard" microeconometric well-being functions previously published for other countries are generally supported. Unemployment has a strongly depressing effect on happiness. A higher income level raises happiness, however, only to a small extent.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 015.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:015

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Keywords: subjective well-being; institutions; direct democracy; unemployment;

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Blog mentions

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  1. Living with a weak economy
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-11-17 15:02:19
  2. Verkiezingen
    by Thijs in eco.nomie.nl on 2010-03-03 07:01:21
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