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Electing Happiness: Does Happiness Effect Voting and do Elections Affect Happiness


  • Nattavudh Powdthavee
  • Paul Dolan, Robert Metcalfe


What causes us to vote and what do we get out of it? We approach these questions using data on voting and subjective well-being (SWB) from a large household panel dataset in the UK. We find some evidence that SWB can affect voting intention but no evidence that the results of three recent elections have any effect on SWB.

Suggested Citation

  • Nattavudh Powdthavee & Paul Dolan, Robert Metcalfe, 2008. "Electing Happiness: Does Happiness Effect Voting and do Elections Affect Happiness," Discussion Papers 08/30, Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:yorken:08/30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Timothy Besley & Anne Case, 2003. "Political Institutions and Policy Choices: Evidence from the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(1), pages 7-73, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liberini, Federica & Redoano, Michela & Proto, Eugenio, 2017. "Happy voters," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 41-57.
    2. Manuel Bagues & Berta Esteve-Volart, 2016. "Politicians’ Luck of the Draw: Evidence from the Spanish Christmas Lottery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(5), pages 1269-1294.
    3. Ward, George, 2015. "Is happiness a predictor of election results?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61698, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. George Ward, 2015. "Is Happiness a Predictor of Election Results?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1343, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Francesca Acacia & Maria Cubel Sanchez, 2014. "Strategic voting and happiness," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Alternative Theories of Public Economics, chapter 7, pages 160-176 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Nikolova, Milena, 2016. "Minding the happiness gap: Political institutions and perceived quality of life in transition," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 45(S), pages 129-148.

    More about this item


    Voting; life satisfaction; subjective wellbeing;

    JEL classification:

    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making

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