Save

How Do Institutions Affect Happiness and Misery? A Tale of Two Tails

In: Comparative Sociology
Authors:
Christian Bjørnskov Aarhus University and Research Institute of Industrial Economics Stockholm chbj@econ.au.dk

Search for other papers by Christian Bjørnskov in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
Tsai Ming-Chang Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, Academia Sinica Taipei mtsai304@gate.sinica.edu.tw

Search for other papers by Tsai Ming-Chang in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

We generalize the discussion of the relevant determinants of happiness by asking the question if the same factors, more specifically the same institutional factors, affect happiness and misery. Focusing on five formal and informal factors and applying a combined approach to estimating happiness in four categories – misery, moderately dissatisfied, moderately satisfied, and happy – allows us to estimate if factors shift or skew the distribution of subjective wellbeing. We find that legal quality and social trust shift the distribution, i.e. a smaller proportion of people in misery and a larger proportion of people with happiness; in contrast, democracy, religiosity, and voter turnout affect a certain tail of the distribution of wellbeing rather than influence both the happy and the unhappy at the same time.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1151 337 13
Full Text Views 332 57 4
PDF Views & Downloads 246 112 10