Lucía Macchia and Anke C. Plagnol. "Associations between political orientation and subjective well-being across the electoral cycle in Latin America"


We examine the role of a government’s political orientation as an important determinant of individuals’ subjective well-being and whether well-being varies systematically across the electoral cycle. Analysing 17 waves of the Latinobarómetro survey, which includes 18 Latin American countries, we find that people rate their own and their country’s economic situation better and report higher life satisfaction and satisfaction with democracy under left-leaning governments compared to right-leaning and centre governments. However, on the individual level, right-leaning respondents report better economic evaluations and higher subjective well-being than left-leaning respondents. Economic evaluations and subjective well-being change across the electoral cycle: on average, respondents rate their own economic situation better in the year before an election than in any other period, and economic perceptions and satisfaction with democracy are rated more highly in the 12 months following an election regardless of whether a change in the political orientation of the government occurred. However, respondents report lower life satisfaction after an election when voting did not result in a change in the government’s political orientation.