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Happiness, Economy and Institutions

Bruno Frey () and Alois Stutzer ()

Economic Journal, 2000, vol. 110, issue 466, 918-38

Abstract: Institutional factors in the form of direct democracy (via initiatives and referenda) and federal structure (local autonomy) systematically and sizeably raise self-reported individual well-being in a cross-regional econometric analysis. This positive effect can be attributed to political outcomes closer to voters' preferences, as well as to the procedural utility of political participation possibilities. Moreover, the results of previous microeconometric well-being functions for other countries are generally supported. Unemployment has a strongly depressing effect on happiness. A higher income level raises happiness, however, only to a small extent.

Date: 2000
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