How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being
John Helliwell and
Haifang Huang ()
No 11988, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
In this paper we employ World Values Survey measures of life satisfaction as though they were direct measures of utility, and use them to evaluate alternative features and forms of government in large international samples. We find that life satisfaction is more closely linked to several World Bank measures of the quality of government than to real per capita incomes, in simple correlations and more fully specified models explaining international differences in life satisfaction. We test for differences in the relative importance of different aspects of good government, and find a hierarchy of preferences that depends on the level of development. The ability of governments to provide a trustworthy environment, and to deliver services honestly and efficiently, appears to be of paramount importance for countries with worse governance and lower incomes. The balance changes once acceptable levels of efficiency, trust and incomes are achieved, when more value is attached to building and maintaining the institutions of electoral democracy.
JEL-codes: H11 I31 P52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-ltv, nep-pbe, nep-pol, nep-soc and nep-upt
Note: EFG POL
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (31) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Helliwell, John F. and Haifang Huang. "How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being." British Journal of Political Science 38 (2008): 595-619.
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: How's Your Government? International Evidence Linking Good Government and Well-Being (2008)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11988
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().