Happy voters

Liberini, F., Redoano, M. and Proto, E. (2017) Happy voters. Journal of Public Economics, 146, pp. 41-57. (doi: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2016.11.013)

199472.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.



Empirical models of retrospective voting primarily employ standard monetary and financial indicators to proxy for voters' utility and to explain voters' behavior. We show that subjective well-being explains variation in voting intention that goes beyond what is captured by these monetary and financial indicators. For example, individuals who are satisfied with their life are 1.6% more likely to support the incumbent; by contrast, a 10% increase in family income leads to a 0.18% increase in an individual's support of the incumbent. We use difference-in-differences analysis to identify how voter intention is affected by a negative shock to well-being: the death of a spouse. Individuals who experience the death of a spouse are around 10% less likely than those in the control group to support the incumbent. The results hold even if elected officials' policies (health care, social welfare) cannot reasonably be blamed for the death.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Proto, Professor Eugenio
Authors: Liberini, F., Redoano, M., and Proto, E.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Journal of Public Economics
Published Online:13 December 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V.
First Published:First published in Journal of Public Economics 146:41-57
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record