IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Decentralization, Subjective Well‐Being, and the Perception of Institutions

  • Luis Diaz‐Serrano
  • Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose

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 fiscal and some forms of political decentralization have a positive and significant effect on the overall subjective well-being of individuals. However, fiscal decentralization has a different effect on the perception of institutions depending on whether we consider subnational expenditure or revenues. Similarly, the effect of political decentralization on the level of satisfaction with institutions also varies depending on whether the capacity of local governments to influence national politics or to exert authority over their own citizens is considered. The results also 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, subjective well-being, satisfaction, fiscal and political decentralization, Europe. JEL codes: H11, H77

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If 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.

File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (05)
Pages: 179-193

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:65:y:2012:i:2:p:179-193
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962

Order Information: Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0023-5962

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Hamid Davoodi & Heng-fu Zou, 1996. "Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Study," CEMA Working Papers 98, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  2. Lessmann, Christian, 2009. "Fiscal decentralization and regional disparity: Evidence from cross-section and panel data," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 08/09, Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," IEW - Working Papers 015, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Roberto Ezcurra & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2010. "Is fiscal decentralization harmful for economic growth? Evidence from the OECD countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33518, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew Oswald, 2007. "Is Well-being U-Shaped over the Life Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Johannesson, Magnus, 1997. "The Relationship between Happiness, Health and Socio-economic Factors: Results Based on Swedish Micro Data," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 207, Stockholm School of Economics.
  8. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Direct democracy and life satisfaction revisited: new evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 227-255, June.
  9. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV, 2008. "Formal Institutions and Subjective Well-Being: Revisiting the Cross-Country Evidence," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 699, Stockholm School of Economics.
  11. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 1999. "The macroeconomics of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-1999, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  12. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Roberto Ezcurra, 2010. "Does decentralization matter for regional disparities? A cross-country analysis," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(5), pages 619-644, September.
  13. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  14. Iimi, Atsushi, 2005. "Decentralization and economic growth revisited: an empirical note," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 449-461, May.
  15. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  16. Ed Diener, 1994. "Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 103-157, February.
  17. Díaz Serrano, Luis & Ferrer Carbonell, Ada & Hartog, Joop, 2009. "Disentangling the Housing Satisfaction Puzzle: Does Homeownership Really Matter?," Working Papers 2072/42898, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  18. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Well-Being," Research Papers 1751r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  19. 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.
  20. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  21. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Nicholas Gill, 2005. "On the 'economic dividend' of devolution," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(4), pages 405-420.
  22. Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2009. "Disentangling the housing satisfaction puzzle: Does homeownership really matter?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 745-755, October.
  23. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Alexandrina P. Stoyanova, 2010. "Mobility and housing satisfaction: an empirical analysis for 12 EU countries," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(5), pages 661-683, September.
  24. Ulrich Thießen, 2003. "Fiscal Decentralisation and Economic Growth in High-Income OECD Countries," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 24(3), pages 237-274, September.
  25. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  26. Hessami, Zohal, 2010. "The Size and Composition of Government Spending in Europe and Its Impact on Well-Being," MPRA Paper 21195, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  27. John F. Helliwell & Shun Wang, 2010. "Trust and Well-being," NBER Working Papers 15911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Roberto Ezcurra & Pedro Pascual, 2008. "Fiscal decentralization and regional disparities: evidence from several European Union countries," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 40(5), pages 1185-1201, May.
  29. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  30. Bjørnskov, Christian & Drehe, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "On decentralization and life satisfaction," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 147-151, April.
  31. Andr�s Rodr�guez-Pose & Adala Bwire, 2004. "The economic (in)efficiency of devolution," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 36(11), pages 1907-1928, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:65:y:2012:i:2:p:179-193. See general 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.