Economics at your fingertips  

Presidential Elections, Divided Politics, and Happiness in the USA

Sergio Pinto (), Panka Bencsik, Tuugi Chuluun and Carol Graham ()

Economica, 2021, vol. 88, issue 349, 189-207

Abstract: We examine the effects of the 2016 and 2012 US presidential election outcomes on subjective wellbeing across party identification. We use Gallup data and a regression discontinuity approach, and focus primarily on evaluative (life satisfaction) and hedonic (positive and negative affect) indicators. We find that both elections had strong negative wellbeing effects on those who identified with the losing party, with little or no increase in wellbeing for those identifying with the winning party. The negative effects for the losing side were larger in 2016 than in 2012, by a factor of three on some indicators, and were driven mainly by women and middle‐income households. As such, both elections had a net negative wellbeing effect, but more so in 2016. Local voting patterns did not have a substantial wellbeing impact, nor did congressional elections taking place the same day. In 2016, the election also changed respondents’ perceptions about the economy, their financial status, and their community. After both elections, hedonic wellbeing gaps across parties typically dissipated within two weeks, but there was more persistence in evaluative wellbeing gaps, especially in expected life satisfaction. The latter gap persisted throughout 2017.

Date: 2021
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
Working Paper: Presidential Elections, Divided Politics, and Happiness in the U.S (2019) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=0013-0427

Access Statistics for this article

Economica is currently edited by Frank Cowell, Tore Ellingsen and Alan Manning

More articles in Economica from London School of Economics and Political Science Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2022-09-10
Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:88:y:2021:i:349:p:189-207