Beyond Bentham – Measuring Procedural Utility
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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