Are Governments Matching Citizens Demand for Better Lives?

Abstract

We propose a new approach which helps to shed light on the importance of the relationship between a government's welfare outcome and its citizens' desired well-being, defining a concept of welfare gap. To determine this gap, we build two composite indices of well-being measured at the individual and aggregate level - i.e. subjective and objective welfare measures - assessing overall well-being and its progress over time. To this end, we apply idiosyncratic settings of Structural Equation Models to examine the interrelations and causal relationships across welfare determinants and among the underlying drivers of well-being. By comparing the dimensions' weights and rankings of the objective and subjective welfare measures, we obtain largely opposite results in both analyses, except for the relevance of the health status. Material living conditions are the most important dimensions in the objective ranking, whilst the quality of life indicators lie at the top of the subjective ladder.

Keywords

Structural Equation Modeling, Latent Multidimensional Index, Beyond GDP, Utility Function, Objective Welfare Index, Subjective Welfare Index, Stated Preference, Generalised SEM MIMIC, GSEM, Bootstrapped SEM, Small Sample Size, Weights

How to Cite

Corrado, L. & De Michele, G., (2023) “Are Governments Matching Citizens Demand for Better Lives?”, American Review of Political Economy 18(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.38024/arpe.273

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Authors

Luisa Corrado (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
Giuseppe De Michele (OCCAR)

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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