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Satisfaction not guaranteed-Institutions and satisfaction with democracy in Western Europe

What determines citizens’ satisfaction with the “constitution in operation”? We make two contributions towards an answer to this important policy question. First, we place stronger emphasis than existing studies on quantitative interpretations of the importance of different factors. We use scenario analysis to show that a consensual system generally promotes satisfaction, but affects different types of citizens differently. Second, we focus on informal institutions and rules of the game in European societies. Corporatism and group membership as a measure of social capital are good for satisfaction, and people who live in countries with a high degree of income inequality tend to be less satisfied. The findings for trust and for the rule of law are ambiguous.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2003-03.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2003_03
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