How can we explain why some regions experienced large decreases in subjective well-being during the 2008 recession, while in other regions, the changes were only very modest? Building on the literature on resilience in subjective well-being during periods of crisis, this article explores a related but undervalued factor that moderates the localized relationship between macroeconomic developments and life evaluation: regional quality of governance. We use individual-level data on life satisfaction and personal information taken from Eurobarometer for 89 European regions in the EU-28 for the period of 2005–2014, combined with macroeconomic variables and regional quality of governance data to test for the hypothesized moderating effect of quality of governance. The results demonstrate that increased regional unemployment and financial stress have a less aggravating effect on subjective well-being in regions characterized by a high quality of governance. These results support the capacity of quality of governance to buffer the negative effects of adverse macroeconomic conditions, most likely through generating trust and providing a safety net.

Subjective well-being, Economic crisis, Europe, Quality of governance,
International Journal of Community Well-Being
Department of Applied Economics

Arampatzi, E, Burger, M.J, Stavropoulos, S, & van Oort, F.G. (2019). Subjective well-being and the 2008 recession in European regions. International Journal of Community Well-Being, 2(2), 111–133. doi:10.1007/s42413-019-00022-0