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Distaste for Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Switzerland

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  • Sarah Flèche

Abstract

Do people care about the degree of centralization? This paper examines the effects of local centralization reforms on individuals' well-being using a quasi-natural experiment in Switzerland. The results reveal that centralization has a causal negative impact on individuals' life satisfaction. Consistent with the concept of procedural utility, centralization reduces individuals' feeling of having political influence and interest in politics. In contrast, there are no impacts on individuals' satisfaction with local governments' performance. These findings shed new light on what people value in decentralized institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Flèche, 2015. "Distaste for Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Switzerland," CEP Discussion Papers dp1383, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1383
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2017. "Public Choice and Happiness," CREMA Working Paper Series 2017-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Decentralization; life satisfaction; public spending; procedural utility;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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