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Abstract:

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CEP Discussion Paper
The Effect of the Brexit Referendum Result on Subjective Well-being
Georgios Kavetsos, Ichiro Kawachi, Ilias Kyriopoulos and Sotiris Vandoros December 2018
Paper No' CEPDP1586:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: D72; I30; I31; I38


Tags: subjective well-being; happiness; brexit; referendum; election

We study the effect of the Brexit referendum result on subjective well-being in the United Kingdom. Using a quasi-experimental design, we find that this outcome led to an overall decrease in subjective well-being in the UK compared to a control group. The effect is driven by individuals who hold an overall positive attitude towards the EU and shows little signs of adaptation. Subjective well-being of those with a very negative attitude towards the EU increases in the short-run but turns negative, possibly due to unmet expectations. Using three different measures of socio-economic connection between the UK and other European countries, we generally do not find evidence supporting the presence of spillover effects of the Brexit referendum result on subjective well-being of individuals in other EU countries.