Social Indicators Research

, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 793–807 | Cite as

The Link Between Political Participation and Life Satisfaction: A Three Wave Causal Analysis of the German SOEP Household Panel

  • André PirralhaEmail author


Is there a relationship between political participation and individual life satisfaction? The idea that political participation makes people more satisfied with their lives has long been debated. However, the existing empirical research has not been very successful in demonstrating that such a relationship exists while some studies show that instead it is individual life satisfaction that impacts political participation. This paper aims to shed some light on the issue of causality between political participation and individual life satisfaction. Unlike former studies, we resort to panel data and apply a three wave model which allows us great flexibility to test several hypotheses. Also unlike previous studies, after correcting for measurement error, our analysis shows no compelling evidence of a causal relationship between political participation and life satisfaction.


Life satisfaction Political participation Political science Causality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research and Expertise Centre for Survey MethodologyUniversitat Pompeu FabraBarcelonaSpain

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