Working Paper BETA #2020-21

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Title : Public services and subjective well-being in a European city: The case of Strasbourg metropolitan area

Author(s) : Jean-Alain Héraud, Phu Nguyen-Van, Thi Kim Cuong Pham

Abstract : This paper aims to analyze the determinants of individual well-being using a survey database from the Strasbourg metropolitan development council. We focus on the effects of externalities generated by public services (transport, culture and sport) as well as environmental quality and feelings of security in the Strasbourg metropolitan area (Eurométropole de Strasbourg, EMS). Results show that specificities of EMS (in terms of public services, environmental quality perceived as convenient for individual health, safety and security), as well as more individual features like opportunities to laugh or living with children influence significantly individual well-being. These findings are robust when using three subjective measures: feeling of well-being, environmental satisfaction and social life satisfaction. We also show that income may affect perceived well-being for individuals belonging to a low income group, while individuals belonging to a high income group tend to be unsatisfied with environmental quality, but satisfied with their social life. Besides, social comparison in terms of income does not really matter for individual well-being in the Strasbourg metropolitan area.

Key-words : environmental satisfaction, externalities, feeling of well-being, public services, social life satisfaction, utility.

JEL Classification : I31; H72