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Is It Culture or Democracy? The Impact of Democracy, Income, and Culture on Happiness

  • DAVID DORN

    ()

  • Justina Fischer

    ()

  • GEBHARD KIRCHGÄSSNER

    ()

  • ALFONSO SOUSA-POZA

    ()

We look at the relation between democracy and perceived subjective well-being, taking also into account the impact of income and culture. After briefly reviewing the empirical results for Switzerland, we re-estimate this relationship allowing for the relative income position of individuals and also using a new more recent data from the Swiss Household Panel. No robust relationship between the extent of (direct) democracy and happiness can be observed. In a second step, we conduct a cross-national analysis, covering 28 countries with data from the 1998 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). There we observe a robust positive and significant relationship between democracy and happiness.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2005 with number 2005-12.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2005:2005-12
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