Social Indicators Research

, Volume 118, Issue 3, pp 1031–1053 | Cite as

Social Capital, Government and Democracy Satisfaction, and Happiness in Turkey: A Comparison of Surveys in 1999 and 2008

  • Tufan Ekici
  • Selda KoydemirEmail author


Based on data from a 1999 and a 2008 European Values Survey, the main objective of this study is to explore the relationship between a variety of social capital indicators, satisfaction with government and democracy, and subjective well-being. Happiness and life satisfaction were used as outcome measures of subjective well-being. The indicators of social capital used in this study are general trust, trust in institutions, political engagement, concern for others, societal norms, and membership in volunteer organizations. The analyses reveal a significant increase in happiness, life satisfaction, and many social capital variables between 1999 and 2008. Generalized trust, trust in institutions, government satisfaction, and democracy satisfaction are positive correlates of well-being, although some relationships are significant only in 2008. Several demographic variables are also linked with subjective well-being such as income, employment status, age, gender, and education. We discuss the findings in relation to the significant societal, economic, and political changes experienced in Turkey between 1999 and 2008. Policy implications are also emphasized such as improved trust among individuals, trustworthiness of government institutions, and functioning of democracy.


Social capital Happiness Life satisfaction Subjective well-being Turkey Trust 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Economics Program, Northern Cyprus CampusMiddle East Technical UniversityMersin 10Turkey
  2. 2.Guidance and Psychological Counseling Program, Northern Cyprus CampusMiddle East Technical UniversityMersin 10Turkey

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