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Well-being, political decentralisation and governance quality in Europe

Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés and Tselios, Vassilis (2019) Well-being, political decentralisation and governance quality in Europe. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 20 (1). pp. 69-93. ISSN 1945-2829

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Identification Number: 10.1080/19452829.2018.1563773

Abstract

European nations allocate public sector resources with the general aim of increasing the well-being and welfare of their citizens through a fair and efficient distribution of these public goods and services. However, ‘who’ delivers these goods and services and ‘how well’ they are delivered are essential in determining outcomes in terms of well-being. Drawing on data from the European Social Survey database, this paper uses Amartya Sen’s social welfare index framework – accounting for the trade-off between the maximization of public sector resources and an equitable distribution of these resources – to examine the influence of political decentralisation (‘who’ delivers the resources) and whether this influence is moderated by governance quality (‘how well’ they are delivered) on individual subjective well-being. The findings of the econometric analysis reveal that decentralisation does not always lead to higher well-being, as the benefits of political decentralisation are highly mediated by the quality of national governance. In countries with high governance quality, political decentralisation results in a greater satisfaction with health provision, while in lower quality governance countries, a more decentralized government can increase the overall satisfaction with life, the economy, government, democracy and the provision of education, but not necessarily with health-related services.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjhd20/current
Additional Information: © 2018 Informa UK Limited
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H1 - Structure and Scope of Government > H11 - Structure, Scope, and Performance of Government
H - Public Economics > H7 - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations > H70 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2019 14:57
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2019 00:04
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/91487

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