Skip to content

Journal Article

Happiness and voting: evidence from four decades of elections in Europe

Authors

Publication date

09 Dec 2019

Summary

There is a growing interest among policy makers in the use of subjective well‐being (or “happiness”) data to measure societal progress, as well as to inform and evaluate public policy. Yet despite a sharp rise in the supply of well‐being‐based policymaking, it remains unclear whether there is any electoral demand for it. In this article, I study a long‐run panel of general elections in Europe and find that well‐being is a strong predictor of election results. National measures of subjective well‐being are able to explain more of the variance in governing party vote share than standard macroeconomic indicators typically used in the economic voting literature. Consistent results are found at the individual level when considering subjective well‐being and voting intentions, both in cross‐sectional and panel analyses.

Published in

American Journal of Political Science

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12492

ISSN

16

Subjects

Politics, Psychology, Elections. Electoral Behaviour, Public Policy, Government, Well Being, and Finance

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - https://lib.essex.ac.uk/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1594809?lang=eng

Notes

Online Early

#525965


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest