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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Beyond Outcomes: Measuring Procedural Utility


People not only obtain utility from actual outcomes but also from the conditions which lead to these outcomes. Procedural utility and outcome utility and outcome utility can be distinguished and empirically measured. People gain procedural utility from participating in the political decision-making process itself, irrespective of the outcome. Nationals enjoy both outcome and process utility, while foreigners are excluded from political decision-making and therefore cannot enjoy the corresponding procedural utility. Utility is measured by individuals' reported subjective well-being. We find that participation rights provide more procedural utility in terms of a feeling of self-determination and influence than actual participation.

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