nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2008‒04‒04
six papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Impact on Child Health from Access to Water and Sanitation and Other Socioeconomic Factors By Gauri Khanna
  2. Lost in Transition: Life Satisfaction on the Road to Capitalism By Easterlin, Richard A.
  3. Job Satisfaction and Happiness: New Evidence from Japanese Union Workers By Adrian de la Garza; Atsushi Sannabe; Katsunori Yamada
  4. Promoting help for victims of child abuse: which emotions are most appropriate to motivate donation behavior. By T. FASEUR; M. GEUENS
  5. How People perceive the Welfare State. A real effort experiment By Ottone, Stefania; Ponzano, Ferruccio
  6. Can cost-benefit analysis guide education policy in developing countries ? By Jimenez, Emmanuel; Patrinos, Harry Anthony

  1. By: Gauri Khanna (IUHEI, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the impacts on child health, using diarrhoe as the health outcome (amongst children living in households), with access to different types of water and sanitation facilities, and from other socio-economic and child specific factors. Using cross-sectional health survey data for India, we employ the propensity score method to match children belonging to different treatment groups, defined by water types and sanitation facilities, with children in a control group. We also employ non-matching techniques to compare our results and to check for their robustness. Our results indicate that disease-specific awareness has strong marginal effects on reducing the predicted probabilities of diarrhoeal outcomes in young children, which are consistent across the models utilised. We also find disease-specific awareness to have the largest impact on reducing the burden of disease from diarrhoea across a select group of predictors.
    Keywords: Diarrhoea, Water, Sanitation, Propensity Score, Matching Techniques
    JEL: I1 D1 C35
    Date: 2008–01
  2. By: Easterlin, Richard A. (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: In the transition from socialism to capitalism in Eastern Europe life satisfaction has followed the V-shaped pattern of GDP but failed to recover commensurately. In general, increased satisfaction with material living levels has occurred at the expense of decreased satisfaction with work, health, and family life. Disparities in life satisfaction have increased markedly with those hardest hit being the less educated and persons over age 30; women and men have suffered about equally. The asymmetric response of life satisfaction to decreases in GDP in transition countries and increases in GDP in non-transition countries is arguably due to loss aversion.
    Keywords: happiness, transition, capitalism, socialism, loss aversion
    JEL: I31 P5 P27 D60
    Date: 2008–03
  3. By: Adrian de la Garza (Yale University); Atsushi Sannabe (Kyoto University); Katsunori Yamada (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper utilizes survey data of Japanese union workers to pro- vide new insights to the \happiness and economics" literature. A cru- cial item that distinguishes our empirical analyses from previous stud- ies is the use of data on workers' expectations of their peers' wages. With our data, we conrm that individuals report higher levels of subjective well-being (SWB) when they perceive that their wages are higher relative to their peers'. On the other hand, the traditional ap- proach in the literature constructs relative wages from Mincer equa- tions, thus presuming that individuals infer their peers' wages the way econometricians do. We argue that this method may be inappropriate. Moreover, we address the issue of endogeneity of our subjective refer- ence income measure employing an instrumental variables approach, and corroborate the causality from relative income to SWB. Addition- ally, we study the relationship between SWB measures and workers' individual characteristics, and compare our results with standard nd- ings in the literature for U.S. and European workers. In agreement with these studies, women and married individuals seem to be happier than their counterparts, men and single workers. However, we observe a U-shaped relationship between education and happiness, which con- trasts with ndings for U.S. and British workers. Finally, we attempt to explain these relationships in the context of the Japanese social background.
    Keywords: subjective well-being; relative utility; sub- jective reference income
    JEL: C25 D00 J28
    Date: 2008–03
    Abstract: This study investigated the effectiveness of two cognitive appraisal dimensions of emotions, valence and certainty, in advertisements promoting a socially oriented organization. Furthermore, the moderating impact of showing multiple unidentified victims versus showing one identified victim and donation history of the respondents was investigated in 239 adult citizens. Certain emotions proved to be more effective (compatible) than uncertain ones for (with) advertisements with multiple unidentified victims and regular donors, whereas the opposite holds true for advertisements with one identified victim and non-regular donors. Surprisingly, positive emotions were found to be more or equally effective than negative ones under all conditions.
    Date: 2008–02
  5. By: Ottone, Stefania; Ponzano, Ferruccio
    Abstract: The main activity of a welfare state is to impose taxes in order to collect money to provide services. In this paper we want to test subjects’ perception of these two steps in the lab. In particular, using a real effort experiment as a tool, we aim at measuring both the labour supply and the consensus as the level of taxation and the efficiency of the welfare state vary.
    Date: 2008–03
  6. By: Jimenez, Emmanuel; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
    Abstract: Cost-benefit analysis in education is an important tool in the economists ' arsenal. However, it is essential that research, especially on the social benefits of education, make further progress to make cost-benefit more analysis. There is a need for more research on the effects of policy interventions on outcomes beyond access to a year in school and what they earn as a result, such as on what children actually learn. Such research should focus on en suring that the interventions are attributable to outcomes. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to go through the discipline of noting the benefits and costs, even if social rates of return cannot be calculated robustly.
    Keywords: Education For All,Primary Education,,Teaching and Learning,Access & Equity in Basic Education
    Date: 2008–03–01

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