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Beyond Bentham – Measuring Procedural Utility

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

We propose that outcome utility and process utility can be distinguished and empirically measured. People gain procedural utility from participating in the political decision-making process itself, irrespective of the outcome. Nationals enjoy both outcome and process utility, while foreigners are excluded from political decision-making and therefore cannot enjoy the corresponding procedural utility. Utility is measured by individuals’ reported subjective well-being or happiness. We find that participation rights provide more procedural utility in terms of a feeling of self-determination and influence than actual participation.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-05/cesifo_wp492.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 492.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_492
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