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When Does Economic Freedom Promote Well Being? On the Moderating Role of Long-Term Orientation

Johan Graafland ()
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Johan Graafland: CentER/Tilburg Sustainability Center, Tilburg University

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2020, vol. 149, issue 1, No 6, 127-153

Abstract: Abstract An increasing volume of literature has shown that economic freedom is related to life satisfaction. However, life satisfaction may not fully describe well-being because of its subjective nature. This study contributes to previous literature by extending analysis of the relationship between economic freedom and life satisfaction to other dimensions of well-being as measured by the better life index of the OECD that includes both objective and subjective measures. A second innovation of this paper is that, in explaining the differences in well-being between countries, we conjecture that the relationship between free market institutions as measured by economic freedom and well-being is moderated by the cultural dimension of long-term orientation. This hypothesis is supported for six out of 11 dimensions of well-being: income, community, health, life satisfaction, safety, and work—life balance. Our study shows that looking at interdependencies between culture and formal institutions can increase the explanatory power of internationally comparative research into well-being.

Keywords: Economic freedom; Long-term orientation; Moderation; OECD better life index; Well-being (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11205-019-02230-9

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