SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance
Formal Institutions and Subjective Well-Being: Revisiting the Cross-Country Evidence.
(), Axel Dreher
() and Justina AV Fischer
Abstract: A long tradition in economics explores the association
between the quality of formal institutions and economic performance. The
literature on the relationship between such institutions and happiness is,
however, rather limited. In this paper, we revisit the findings from recent
cross-country studies on the institutions-happiness association. Our
findings suggest that the conclusions reached by previous studies are
fairly sensitive to the specific measure of ‘happiness’ used. In addition,
the results indicate that the welfare effects of policies may differ across
phases of a country’s economic development. This bears important policy
implications which we discuss in the concluding section of the paper.
Keywords: Happiness; Well-Being; institutions; policy implications; democracy; rule of law; government efficiency; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: H10; H40; I31; (follow links to similar papers)
38 pages, April 2, 2008
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