Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Pitlik, Hans
Rode, Martin
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
WIFO Working Papers No. 482
Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), Vienna
Recent research has shown that the degree to which people feel they are in control of their lives is an important correlate of individual happiness, where those that feel more in control are also found to be systematically happier. In turn, the economic sources of perceived life control are only insignificantly established in the relevant literature. The present paper employs individual data from the most recent version of the World Value Survey, covering the period from 1981 to 2013, to establish the macro-determinants of individual life control. We find that living in a country with high overall economic freedom is a major determinant of feeling in control of one's own life. The effect is very similar for individuals in high and low income countries, while the impact of democracy is negligible in both cases. Interacting relative income with economic freedom, we find that - contrary to conventional wisdom - it is by far the lower income groups that derive the biggest gain of perceived life control from living in a country with comparatively high economic freedom.
Locus of control
Economic institutions
Document Type: 
Working Paper

Files in This Item:
754.28 kB

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.