nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2007‒09‒30
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Further Results on Measuring the Well-Being of the Poor Using Income and Consumption By Bruce D. Meyer; James X. Sullivan
  2. Job satisfaction and co-worker wages: Status or signal? By Andrew E. Clark; Nicolai Kristensen; Niels Westergård-Nielsen
  3. How does heterogeneity shape the socioeconomic gradient in health satisfaction? By Andrew M. Jones; Stefanie Schurer

  1. By: Bruce D. Meyer; James X. Sullivan
    Abstract: In the U.S., analyses of poverty rates and the effects of anti-poverty programs rely almost exclusively on income data. In earlier work (Meyer and Sullivan, 2003) we emphasized that conceptual arguments generally favor using consumption data to measure the well-being of the poor, and, on balance, data quality issues favor consumption in the case of single mothers. Our earlier work did not show that income and consumption differ in practice. Here we further examine data quality issues and show that important conclusions about recent trends depend on whether one uses consumption or income. Changes in the distribution of resources for single mothers differ sharply in recent years depending on whether measured by income or consumption. Measures of overall and sub-group poverty also sharply differ. In addition to examining broader populations and a longer time period, we also consider new dimensions of data quality such as survey and item nonresponse, imputation, and precision. Finally, we demonstrate the flaws in a recent paper that compares income and consumption data.
    JEL: D31 I31 I32 I38
    Date: 2007–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13413&r=hap
  2. By: Andrew E. Clark; Nicolai Kristensen; Niels Westergård-Nielsen
    Abstract: This paper uses matched employer-employee panel data to show that individual job satisfaction is higher when other workers in the same establishment are better-paid. This runs contrary to a large literature which has found evidence of income comparisons in subjective well-being. We argue that the difference hinges on the nature of the reference group. We here use co-workers. Their wages not only induce jealousy, but also provide a signal about the worker's own future earnings. Our positive estimated coefficient on others' wages shows that this positive future earnings signal outweighs any negative status effect. This phenomenon is stronger for men, and in the private sector.
    Date: 2007
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pse:psecon:2007-23&r=hap
  3. By: Andrew M. Jones; Stefanie Schurer
    Abstract: Individual heterogeneity plays a key role in explaining variation in self-reported well-being and, in particular, health satisfaction. It is hypothesised that the inuence of this heterogeneity varies over levels of health and increases over the life-cycle. These hypotheses are tested with data on health satisfaction from 22 waves of the German Socioeconomic Panel (GSOEP). Nonlinear xed eects methods that allow for unobserved heterogeneity are not readily available for categorical measures of well-being. One common solution is to revert to conditional xed eects methods, at the price of a high degree of information loss. Another common solution is to ignore the association between unobserved heterogeneity and socio-economic status by using pooled or random eects models, at the price of potential bias. We use a generalization of the conditional xed eects logit, that allows for individual-specic reporting bias, heterogeneity in health endowments, and heterogeneity in the impact of income on health satisfaction. Adjusting for unobserved heterogeneity accounts for the relationship between income and very good health, but not between income and poorer health states. The income gradient for older age-groups is more strongly aected by controlling for unobserved heterogeneity: revealing an increasing inuence of heterogeneity on health satisfaction over the life-span.
    Keywords: Panel data, generalized conditional xed eects logit, generalized ordered logit, health, GSOEP.
    JEL: I12 C23
    Date: 2007–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:yor:hectdg:07/05&r=hap

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