Essays on Subjective Well-Being and Public Finance
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This dissertation explores relationships between well-being and public finance by using subjective well-being measures such as self-reported life satisfaction. The first chapter summarizes the discussion over the use of subjective well-being in economics and reviews related empirical literature, especially in the field of public finance. The second chapter examines relationships between subjective well-being and government activities using country-level panel data. Specifically, the chapter examines how government spending, taxes, and deficit/surplus are related to aggregate level of life satisfaction, and how the relationship is different by social groups. The third chapter examines relationship between individual life satisfaction and expenditure by state government in the U.S. The last chapter, which uses the same data set as in the third essay, examines the relationship between individual life satisfaction and revenue structure, especially tax structure, of state government in the U.S. The third and last chapters also study how the impact of spending or taxes is different across income groups. The empirical studies in this dissertation show that public finance is related to subjective well-being, and the relationship is different by individual characteristics such as income levels.
- Economics