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Institutional Change and Macroeconomic Performance in OECD Countries: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data

Listed author(s):
  • Heinz Welsch

    ()

    (University of Oldenburg; ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies)

  • Jan Kühling

    (University of Oldenburg; ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies)

This paper explores the relationship between institutional change and macroeconomic performance in 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). We use data on the subjective well-being (SWB) of more than 91,000 individuals in these countries to assess the well-being effects of national income growth, unemployment and inflation, and we employ the relationships found to construct an index of macroeconomic performance in terms of SWB. Applying the index to the period 1990-2009, we find that macroeconomic performance has improved in OECD overall and in the majority of countries, and that there has been a convergence of performance within the OECD. We then present evidence that OECD countries’ performance, as measured, is positively related to institutional change towards more trade openness and better institutional quality. We argue that both increased openness and improved institutional quality are correlates of economic and political integration and conclude that international integration has enhanced SWB by improving OECD countries’ national macroeconomic performance.

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File URL: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2698051
File Function: First version, 2015
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Paper provided by ZenTra - Center for Transnational Studies in its series ZenTra Working Papers in Transnational Studies with number 58 / 2015.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2015
Date of revision: Dec 2015
Handle: RePEc:zen:wpaper:58
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