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Correlational findings

Study Helliwell et al. (2014b): study ZZ World samples 2005

Public:
15+ years, general public, 157 countries, 2005-2012
Survey name:
Gallup poll
Sample:
Respondents:
N = 900000
Non Response:
Assessment:
Interview: face-to-face

Correlate

Authors's label
Democratic quality
Our Classification
Operationalization
a: Voice and accountablity (Expert estimates of the extent to which a country's citizens are able to participate in selecting their government, as well as freedom of expression, freedom of association, and a free media.)
b: Political stability (Expert estimates of the likelihood of political instability and/or politically-motivated violence, including terrorism.)

Democratic quality = (a+b)/2

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks C-BW-c-sq-l-11-c b = +.01 ns AVERAGE happiness by democratic quality in 157 nations in the period 2005-2012 (n=836).
- Without country fixed effects
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-c b = +.13 p < .01 - With country fixed effects C-BW-c-sq-l-11-c b = +.52 p < .10 Countries with high delivery quality (greater than 0) (n=336) C-BW-c-sq-l-11-c b = +.05 ns Countries with low delivery quality (lower than 0) (n=500)

b controls for:
- delivery quality
- year fixed effects

Similar patterns are obtained when b additionally controls for:
- Log GDP
- Healthy life expectancy
- Freedom to make life choices
- Generosity
- Social support
- Regional fixed effects

A similar result is also obtained when a regression is conducted for 2005-2012 averages at the country level.

In sum: Democratic quality has a significantly positive effect on life satisfaction for countries with high delivery quality (greater than 0).
C-BW-c-sq-l-11-c b = -.32 p < .001 AVERAGE happiness by AVERAGE democratic quality in 147 nations in the period 2005-2012 (n=734).

b controls for:
- Confidence in the national government (Gallup)
- Logged GDP
- Delivery quality
- Country fixed effects
- Year fixed effects

Similar results are obtained when b additionally controls for:
- Healthy life expectancy
- Freedom to make life choices
- Generosity
- Social support