Institutions and Life Satisfaction

Reprint No. 2020:50

Author(s): Niclas Berggren and Christian BjørnskovYear: 2020 Title: Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics Editor(s): Klaus F. ZimmermannPublisher: SpringerCity: Cham Pages: 1–48
Online article (restrictions may apply)

Institutions and Life Satisfaction Niclas Berggren and Christian Bjørnskov

The degree to which people are satisfied with their lives is affected by many factors. This chapter surveys studies that document the influence of one such factor – formal institutions (i.e., written rules). Such rules, typically laws that enable and constrain political, legal, and economic decision-making, have the potential to affect how satisfied people are with their lives in at least two ways. First, there can be direct effects in that rules either enable certain individual choices or constitute constraints on the individual’s choice set; furthermore, such effects can be of a “symbolic” kind: certain types of rules are valued for their character. Second, there can be indirect effects in that rules shape the overall character of society, through the actions that are, and that are not, taken by people.

Berggren, Niclas and Christian Bjørnskov (2020), "Institutions and Life Satisfaction". Pp. 1–48 in Klaus F. Zimmermann, ed., Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics. Cham: Springer.

Niclas Berggren


Ph: +46 8 665 4520

Christian Bjørnskov


Ph: +45 87 16 48 19
Mob: +45 20 12 03 84

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se