Happiness Quantified: A Satisfaction Calculus Approach

By Bernard Van Praag; Ada Ferrer-I-Carbonell | Go to book overview

Political Satisfaction

This chapter is based on the MA thesis by Chris Van Klaveren (Univ. of Amsterdam: 2002) and Van Klaveren, Maassen Van de Brink, and Van Praag, 2002 . We are grateful to Chris and Henriette for their permission to include results in this monograph.

In the previous pages we considered the individual's satisfaction with his or her personal circumstances. We distinguished a number of 'domains of life', like health, finance, and employment. With respect to each domain the individual can express satisfaction either in verbal terms like 'bad' or 'excellent' or by evaluating the degree of satisfaction on a numerical scale from 0 to 10 or alternatively from 1 to 7. We estimated equations of the type

5.1

where the first part may be called the structural part, while the residual ɛ stands for individual factors and errors. We found stable and significant estimates for the structural parts, but the degree of explanation was mostly minor, indicating that individual non-measured factors must be quite important.

In Chapter 4 we extended this type of analysis by introducing a structural multi-equation model. We considered the question on the individual's satisfaction with 'life as a whole', called general satisfaction (or GS for short), and we found that GS could in turn be explained by the domain satisfactions DS.

The estimates of this system as shown in the previous chapter are very satisfactory. In the same Chapter 4 we considered job satisfaction as an aggregate of various sub-domain satisfactions like pay, hours, work content, etc. This led to a three-layer model.

In this chapter we will apply the same model to political satisfactions. The level of someone's political satisfaction may be derived by asking an individual how satisfied he or she is with the government. Say the answer is political satisfaction PS. Then we may try to explain PS directly by objective variables x. Another road, which we will take here, is to distinguish political sub-domain satisfactions PDS. The PDS are explained by objective variables x. In its turn we may see political satisfaction as one of the determinants of

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Happiness Quantified: A Satisfaction Calculus Approach

• A Satisfaction Calculus Approach iii
• Contents vii
• Introduction 1
• Analysis of Income Satisfaction 15
• Domain Satisfactions 44
• Aggregation of Satisfactions 77
• Political Satisfaction 96
• Males, Females, and Households 114
• Impact of Past and Future on Satisfaction 136
• Influence of the Reference Group on Norms 158
• Health and Subjective Well-Being 177
• Effects of Climate on Welfare and Well-Being 205
• Compensations for Aircraft Noise Nuisance 219
• Taxation and Well-Being 239
• Subjective Income Inequalities 263
• Subjective Inequalitiesgeneralized Approach 281
• Poverty 291
• Epilogue 318
• References 323
• Index 333
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