New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2007‒05‒26
four papers chosen by

  1. On Gender Inequality and Life Satisfaction: Does Discrimination Matter? By Christian Bjørnskov; Axel Dreher; Justina A.V. Fischer
  2. Are Urban Children really healthier? By Ellen van de Poel; Owen O'Donnell; Eddy van Doorslaer
  3. Altruism, Fertility, and the Value of Children: Health Policy Evaluation and Intergenerational Welfare By Javier A. Birchenall; Rodrigo R. Soares
  4. Le noyau dur de la pauvreté au Sénégal By Oumar Diop Diagne; Ousmane Faye; Salimata Faye

  1. By: Christian Bjørnskov (Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics, Aarhus C, Denmark); Axel Dreher (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich Switzerland and CESifo, Germany); Justina A.V. Fischer (Hoover Institution, Stanford University Stanford, CA)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of gender discrimination on individual life satisfaction using a cross-section of 66 countries. We employ measures of discrimination of women in the economy, in politics, and in society more generally. According to our results, discrimination in politics is important to individual well-being. Overall, men and women are more satisfied with their lives when societies become more equal. Disaggregated analysis suggests that our results for men are driven by the effect of equality on men with middle and high incomes, and those on the political left. To the contrary, women are more satisfied with increasing equality independent of income and political ideology. Equality in economic and family matters does overall not affect life satisfaction. However, women are more satisfied with their lives when discriminatory practices have been less prevalent in the economy 20 years ago.
    Keywords: Gender gap, happiness, well-being, discrimination, life satisfaction
    JEL: I31 J16
    Date: 2007–04
  2. By: Ellen van de Poel (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam); Owen O'Donnell (University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece); Eddy van Doorslaer (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
    Abstract: On average, child health outcomes are better in urban than in rural areas of developing countries. Understanding the nature and the causes of this rural-urban disparity is essential in contemplating the health consequences of the rapid urbanization taking place throughout the developing world and in targeting resources appropriately to raise population health. We use micro data on child health taken from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys for 47 developing countries. First, we document the magnitude of rural-urban disparities in child nutritional status and under-five mortality across all 47 developing countries. Second, we adjust these disparities for differences in population characteristics across urban and rural settings. Third, we examine rural-urban differences in the degree of socioeconomic inequality in these health outcomes. We find considerable rural-urban differences in mean child health outcomes. The rural-urban gap in stunting does not entirely mirror the gap in under-five mortality. The most striking difference between the two is in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where the gap in stunting is more than 1.5 times higher than that in mortality. On average, the rural-urban risk ratios of stunting and under-five mortality fall by respectively 53% and 59% after controlling for household wealth. Controlling thereafter for socio-demographic factors reduces the risk ratios by another 22% and 25%. In a considerable number of countries, the urban poor actually have higher rates of stunting and mortality than their rural counterparts. The findings imply that there is a need for programs that target the urban poor, and that this is becoming more necessary as the size of the urban population grows.
    Keywords: child health; urban-rural inequality; nutrition; child mortality
    JEL: I12 I31 O53
    Date: 2007–04–10
  3. By: Javier A. Birchenall (University of California, Santa Barbara); Rodrigo R. Soares (University of Maryland, Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, NBER and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper accounts for the value of children and future generations in the evaluation of health policies. This is achieved through the incorporation of altruism and fertility in a "value of life" type of framework. We are able to express adults’ willingness to pay for changes in child mortality and also to incorporate the welfare of future generations in the evaluation of current policies. Our model clarifies a series of puzzles from the literature on the "value of life" and on intergenerational welfare comparisons. We show that, by incorporating altruism and fertility into the analysis, the estimated welfare gain from recent reductions in mortality in the U.S. easily doubles.
    Keywords: value of life, mortality, fertility, altruism, intergenerational welfare, willingness to pay
    JEL: J17 J13 I10
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Oumar Diop Diagne; Ousmane Faye; Salimata Faye
    Abstract: Partant des limites des instruments classiques dans la mesure de la pauvreté, l'étude introduit le concept de noyau dur pour contourner le problème d'inclusion-exclusion factice, en vue d'un meilleur ciblage des pauvres au Sénégal. Elle s'appuie sur une combinaison d'indicateurs de pauvreté monétaire avec ceux de patrimoine et de privation relative. L'analyse du noyau dur fait ressortir que deux ménages sur 11 manquent de moyens pour faire face à leurs besoins immédiats et éprouvent des difficultés à accéder à des conditions de vie adéquates. Pire, ces ménages n'ont aucune perspective de sortir de la précarité en raison de la faiblesse de leur capital tant humain que physique. Par ailleurs, contrairement aux travaux antérieurs, l'étude montre une pauvreté sévit plus importante dans les ménages dirigés par des femmes (notamment les divorcées et veuves) ou par des personnes de faible qualification professionnelle.
    Keywords: Pauvreté, indicateur monétaire, pauvreté relative, patrimoine, noyau dur, Sénégal
    JEL: I31 I32 O55
    Date: 2007

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