Posted by: vernacularsnoop | September 4, 2008

Local democracy leads to greater happiness

I wanted to share an interesting passage from the book “Happiness: lessons from a new science” by Richard Layard about the positive effects of decentralized decision-making on general happiness:

“A recent study of democracy in Switzerland has produced remarkable results. In every Swiss canton (or region) policies are often decided by referendum. But in some cantons citizens have more rights to demand referendums than in others. It turns out that people are much happier where they have more rights to referendums. If we compare those cantons where these rights are the most extensive with those where they are the least extensive, the difference in happiness is as great as if they had double the income. These findings are highly relevant to the role of local democracy.” (Layard 70, 2005)

Mountain lake in Switzerland

Mountain lake in Switzerland

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Responses

  1. It is a very very beautiful sean.


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