Skip to main content

CEP discussion paper

Distaste for centralization: evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in Switzerland


Do people care about the degree of centralization? This paper examines the effects of local centralization reforms on individuals' well-being using a quasi-natural experiment in Switzerland. The results reveal that centralization has a causal negative impact on individuals' life satisfaction. Consistent with the concept of procedural utility, centralization reduces individuals' feeling of having political influence and interest in politics. In contrast, there are no impacts on individuals' satisfaction with local governments' performance. These findings shed new light on what people value in decentralized institutions.


Sarah Flèche

10 November 2015     Paper Number CEPDP1383

Download PDF - Distaste for centralization: evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in Switzerland

This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Community Wellbeing programme.