Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 5, pp 875–899 | Cite as

Does Government Make People Happy?: Exploring New Research Directions for Government’s Roles in Happiness

  • Seoyong KimEmail author
  • Donggeun Kim
Research Paper


Our study aims to explore new directions for researches on government’s role in enhancing quality of life (QOL). Although government can influence, to the greatest extent, people’s happiness, very few studies have systemically examined the quantitative or qualitative attributes of government in happiness enhancement, compared with the large volume of studies on economic, political, and cultural factors’ impact on QOL. Related to government’s role in happiness, we suggest ‘nine new research directions,’ all of which can generally be related with its’ quantitative and qualitative attributes. Even though much existing researches have focused on a part of quantitative sides of government, there are still many remaining attributes to be highlighted. Moreover, we expect that new, composite and nonlinear quality attributes of government will provide bountiful research topics in the future. Also, cross-boundary comparisons and mixtures between quality and quantity, as well as the conditional macro-context for government’s role, suggest new ideas for QOL studies.


Happiness Life satisfaction Quality of government Size of government 



This research was supported by research grant from The Guwon Scholarship Foundation. I thank Dr. Whang Pillsang, a founder of the foundation, for his thoughtful consideration for Ajou University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationAjou UniversitySuwonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsAjou UniversitySuwonSouth Korea

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