S-WoPEc
 
Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
HomeAboutSeriesSubject/JEL codesAdvanced Search
The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance

No 697:
Competition and well-being: does market competition make people unhappy?

Justina AV Fischer ()

Abstract: Empirical research on the role of economic institutions for subjective well-being is still widely lacking, while recent economic-experimental outcomes suggest that experienced utility may depend on the intensity of market competition. This paper is the first to empirically analyze the implication of market competition for subjective well-being using real-life survey data on 80,000 individuals in more than 60 countries from the World Values Survey 1997-2001. In support of our hypothesis, we find that market competition aggravates the impact of individual’s bargaining position in economic transactions on her subjective well-being – compared to the least powerful in society. Put differently, we find that market competition enlarges the happiness differences caused by cleavages in socio-economic position. Our results also suggest that competition induced welfare changes are not gender-specific, while a stronger rule of law appears to prevent the generation of such additional benefits or losses. Particularly the latter results call for further economic-experimental corroboration in the laboratory, but also bear important policy implications.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; happiness; utility; competition; rule of law; completeness of contract; laboratory experiment; World Values Survey; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C99; D02; D40; I31; (follow links to similar papers)

48 pages, March 20, 2008

Before downloading any of the electronic versions below you should read our statement on copyright.
Download GhostScript for viewing Postscript files and the Acrobat Reader for viewing and printing pdf files.

Full text versions of the paper:

hastef0697.pdf    PDF-file (197kB) 
Download Statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Helena Lundin ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson () or Helena Lundin ().

Programing by
Design by Joachim Ekebom

Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0697 This page was generated on 2014-12-14 19:23:10