How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being
In this paper we employ World Values Survey measures of life satisfaction as though they were direct measures of utility, and use them to evaluate alternative features and forms of government in large international samples. We find that life satisfaction is more closely linked to several World Bank measures of the quality of government than to real per capita incomes, in simple correlations and more fully specified models explaining international differences in life satisfaction. We test for differences in the relative importance of different aspects of good government, and find a hierarchy of preferences that depends on the level of development. The ability of governments to provide a trustworthy environment, and to deliver services honestly and efficiently, appears to be of paramount importance for countries with worse governance and lower incomes. The balance changes once acceptable levels of efficiency, trust and incomes are achieved, when more value is attached to building and maintaining the institutions of electoral democracy.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Helliwell, John F. and Haifang Huang. "How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being." British Journal of Political Science 38 (2008): 595-619.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John F. Helliwell, 2002.
"How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being,"
NBER Working Papers
9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
246, CESifo Group Munich.
- Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Social capital and the quality of Government : evidence from the U.S. States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2504, The World Bank.
- Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002.
"Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development,"
NBER Working Papers
9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, 06.
- Rodrik, Dani & Subramanian, Arvind & Trebbi, Francesco, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 3643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Helliwell, John F., 1994.
"Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth,"
British Journal of Political Science,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 225-248, April.
- John F. Helliwell, 1992. "Empirical Linkages Between Democracy and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 4066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Torsten Persson, 2002.
"Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?,"
Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 883-905, May.
- Stephen Knack, 2001. "Aid Dependence and the Quality of Governance: Cross-Country Empirical Tests," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 310-329, October.
- Barro, R.J., 1989.
"Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries,"
RCER Working Papers
201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
- Torsten Persson, 2003. "Consequences of Constitutions," NBER Working Papers 10170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11988. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.