Political participation and life satisfaction: a cross-European analysis
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to model the link between political participation and life satisfaction whilst correcting for the endogenous nature of the relationship; explore the impact of different strengths of political participation and aim to uncover if the relationship displays different patterns by gender. Design/methodology/approach - The data originate from the 2006/2007 European Social Survey. The analysis spanned across a pooled data set for 20 European countries. Three alternative empirical frameworks were trialled: an ordered probit regression, a linear regression model and a two-step, simultaneous treatment effect model to address endogeneity concerns. Findings - Following the correction for endogeneity via two-step, simultaneous treatment regressions, political participation – and specifically strong political engagement – displays a robust, statistically significant, strong and positive impact on life satisfaction. It was deduced that actual political participation, and not merely the right to participate in the political process, is a source of procedural utility. Research limitations/implications - The cross-sectional nature of the data imposes design limitations to examining trends and changes over time. It follows that the analysis cannot rely on fixed-effect estimations to control for time-invariant factors. Originality/value - Once the results are corrected for endogeneity, the empirical results reveal that the effect of actual political participation on life satisfaction not only matters, but also as the strength of political engagement grows it matters even more. Findings hold true even when a multitude of socio-demographic characteristics are controlled for. These are important results for researchers and policy makers who are concerned about the happiness of people in democratic societies.
Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
Issue (Month): 9 (August)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijse.htm Email:
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.:
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004.
"Well-being over time in Britain and the USA,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2005. "Beyond outcomes: measuring procedural utility," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(1), pages 90-111, January.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Beyond Outcomes: Measuring Procedural Utility," IEW - Working Papers 076, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Frey, Bruno S. & Stutzer, Alois, 2002. "Beyond Outcomes: Measuring Procedural Utility," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt7qp9q1js, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
- Clark, Andrew E & Georgellis, Yannis & Sanfey, Peter, 2001. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 221-241, May.
- Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, 1999. "Scarring: The Psychological Impact of Past Unemployment," Studies in Economics 9903, School of Economics, University of Kent.
- Scott Fargher, 2008. "Cultural heritage and job satisfaction in Eastern and Western Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(7), pages 630-650, November.
- Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
- Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, "undated". "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IEW - Working Papers 143, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2005. "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IZA Discussion Papers 1811, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 30(1), pages 119-173, January.
- Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2005. "Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Exploring Different Determinants across Groups in Society," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 2005-19, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
- Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2006. "Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction:Exploring Different Determinants across Groups inSociety," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 21, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
- Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2006. "Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction: Exploring Different Determinants across Groups in Society," KOF Working papers 06-145, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
- Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2006. "Cross-country determinants of life satisfaction: exploring different determinants across groups in society," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19290, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-377, September.
- Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, "undated". "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not only What, but also How Matters," IEW - Working Papers 129, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2003. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not only What, but also How Matters," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Lynn, Peter & Hader, Sabine & Gabler, Siegfried & Laaksonen, Seppo, 2004. "Methods for achieving equivalence of samples in cross-national surveys: the European Social Survey experience," ISER Working Paper Series 2004-09, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
- Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
- Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness Prospers in Democracy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 79-102, March.
- Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
- Ulrich Schimmack & Richard Lucas, 2007. "Marriage Matters: Spousal Similarity in Life Satisfaction," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 105-111.
- Kenneth J. Arrow, 1950. "A Difficulty in the Concept of Social Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58, pages 328-328.
- Thomas Lange, 2012. "Job satisfaction and self-employment: autonomy or personality?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 165-177, February.
- Frey, Bruno S, 1997. "A Constitution for Knaves Crowds Out Civic Virtues," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 1043-1053, July.
- Yannis Georgellis & Nicholas Tsitsianis & Ya Yin, 2009. "Personal Values as Mitigating Factors in the Link Between Income and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from the European Social Survey," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 91(3), pages 329-344, May.
- Bjornskov, Christian, 2006. "The multiple facets of social capital," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 22-40, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)