Is It Culture or Democracy? The Impact of Democracy, Income, and Culture on Happiness
We look at the relation between democracy and perceived subjective well-being, taking also into account the impact of income and culture. After briefly reviewing the empirical results for Switzerland, we re-estimate this relationship allowing for the relative income position of individuals and also using a new more recent data from the Swiss Household Panel. No robust relationship between the extent of (direct) democracy and happiness can be observed. In a second step, we conduct a crossnational analysis, covering 28 countries with data from the 1998 International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). There we observe a robust positive and significant relationship between democracy and happiness.