Sustainable Development, Government Efficiency, and People’s Happiness

Yu Chuan Chen, Yung Ho Chiu, Tzu Han Chang, Tai Yu Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Today’s society appears prosperous, but it faces the challenges of unbalanced development due to climate change, economic growth, social equality, and a growing gap between the rich and the poor. A good government can help people and enterprises continue to progress and develop sustainably in the country and at the same time make the people happy. Therefore, the ruling party’s governance should not only take into account the issue of efficiency, but also consider the needs and feelings of the people. Based on the three dimensions of society, economy, and environment in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) proposed by the United Nations, using the three parallel network Dynamic Directional Distance Function, and considering the interdependent network structure composed of interrelated sub-units, this research evaluates and analyzes the government efficiency and public satisfaction efficiency of local governments in 22 counties and cities in Taiwan from 2016 to 2019 as well as the correlation between public evaluation and governance effectiveness. The empirical results show from the performance of government efficiency of county and city governments in Taiwan that there are large differences in economic and environmental aspects, but small differences in social aspects. The correlation coefficients of the social, economic, and environmental efficiencies are all positive, but the correlation coefficients of public satisfaction efficiency with these same three aspects are all negatively correlated. These results show first that local governments should review the inefficient aspects to improve their resource allocation. Second, they reflect the network characteristics that society, economy, and environment are linked and complement each other, which follow the need for sustainable development by the United Nations after taking into account social, economic, and environmental factors. Third, the performance of government efficiency is not reflected in the public satisfaction rate, and the satisfaction of the people is a subjective rather than an objective decision of local government efficiency. Therefore, to achieve the goal of improving efficiency and happiness, local governments must also understand the expectations of the people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1549-1578
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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