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The Impact of Institutions and Development on Happiness

This paper demonstrates that institutional factors influence the subjective well-being of individuals differently in rich versus poor countries. A lower level of corruption, a more democratic government and better civil rights increase the well-being of individuals in rich countries, whereas an increase in per capita income has no impact. On the contrary, in poor countries the extent of corruption, democracy and civil rights have no influence on happiness, but an increase in per capita income impacts happiness positively. This stark contrast may be due to the difference of preferences over income and institutional factors.

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File URL: http://bus.lsu.edu/McMillin/Working_Papers/pap09_17.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2009-17.

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Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2009-17
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  1. Di Tella, Rafael & Alesina, Alberto & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Scholarly Articles 4553007, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  11. Sacks, Daniel W. & Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2010. "Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5230, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Barro, Robert J., 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Scholarly Articles 3451297, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Bruno Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness Prospers in Democracy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 79-102, March.
  14. Roberto Rigobon & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "Rule of law, democracy, openness, and income," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(3), pages 533-564, 07.
  15. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  16. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
  17. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert J. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 615, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  18. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  19. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2008. "Happiness Adaptation to Income beyond "Basic Needs"," NBER Working Papers 14539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2010. "Formal institutions and subjective well-being: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 419-430, December.
  21. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  22. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did The West Extend The Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, And Growth In Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199, November.
  23. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  24. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
  25. Mary C. Daly & Daniel J. Wilson, 2009. "Happiness, Unhappiness, and Suicide: An Empirical Assessment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 539-549, 04-05.
  26. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  27. Luechinger, Simon & Meier, Stephan & Stutzer, Alois, 2006. "Bureaucratic Rents and Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 1964, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Mauro, Paolo, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712, August.
  29. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  30. Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere R. Behrman & Axel Skytthe, 2005. "Partner + Children = Happiness? The Effects of Partnerships and Fertility on Well-Being," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 407-445.
  31. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Money Does Matter! Evidence from Increasing Real Income and Life Satisfaction in East Germany Following Reunification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 730-740, June.
  32. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2003. "Institutions, trade, and growth : revisiting the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3004, The World Bank.
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