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Title: Political institutions and life satisfaction in transition countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Authors: Dornbusch, Christina Jaya
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: Since they gained independence from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe are in transition from a planned economy and authoritarianism to an open market economy and democracy. Although the installation of democracy and free markets is usually regarded to be beneficial for individual well-being among the population in a given country, dissatisfaction with life is widespread among people in transition counties. Numerous studies have sought to explain this dissatisfaction with life by looking at economic and individual-level factors but have omitted the impact of political factors. This study is the first to investigate the impact of political institutions - specifically electoral rules and forms of government - on individual life satisfaction in transition countries. I merged individual life satisfaction data from the Life in Transition survey on 44477 individuals in 25 transition countries with data on electoral rules and forms of government and estimated a multi-level logistic regression model. I find that presidential systerns were better at increasing life satisfaction than other forms of government whereas proportional representation (PR) electoral rules where better at increasing life satisfaction than other types of electoral rules. Mixed political institutions, i.e. mixed electoral rules and semi-presidential forms of government had a significant negative impact on life satisfaction. In conclusion, this study shows that besides economic and individual-level factors political institutions matter for individual life satisfaction in transition countries.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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