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Decentralization, Subjective Well-Being And The Perception Of Institutions

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  • Luis Diaz-Serrano

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  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

Abstract

This paper analyses whether the different powers and resources at the disposal of local and regional governments across Europe deliver greater satisfaction with political institutions and lead to greater personal happiness. The analysis uses microdata from the four available waves of the European social survey (2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008), including more than 160,000 observations of individuals living in 29 European countries. Our results reveal that fiscal and some forms of political decentralization have a positive and significant effect on the overall subjective well-being of individuals. However, fiscal decentralization has a different effect on the perception of institutions depending on whether we consider subnational expenditure or revenues. Similarly, the effect of political decentralization on the level of satisfaction with institutions also varies depending on whether the capacity of local governments to influence national politics or to exert authority over their own citizens is considered. The results also show that citizens seem to be happier with the actual capacity of their local governments to deliver than with the general principle that they can have a say on their daily politics and policies. Keywords: Happiness, subjective well-being, satisfaction, fiscal and political decentralization, Europe. JEL codes: H11, H77

Suggested Citation

  • Luis Diaz-Serrano & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2012. "Decentralization, Subjective Well-Being And The Perception Of Institutions," ERSA conference papers ersa12p586, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa12p586
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarah Flèche, 2015. "Distaste for Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Switzerland," CEP Discussion Papers dp1383, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    2. Luis Diaz-Serrano & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Decentralization and the Welfare State: What Do Citizens Perceive?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 120(2), pages 411-435, January.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1258-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Duncan M. Wagana & Mike A. Iravo & Joyce D. Nzulwa & John M. Kihoro, 2016. "Effect of Financial and Political Decentralization on Service Delivery in County Governments in Kenya," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(6), pages 304-320, June.
    5. ., 2014. "Devolution, city governance and economic performance," Chapters,in: Urban Economics and Urban Policy, chapter 7, pages 157-184 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1361-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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