nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2008‒05‒10
eight papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. L'économie du bonheur peut-elle renouveler l'économie du bien-être? By Lucie Davoine
  2. The value of time from subjective data on life satisfaction and job satisfaction: An empirical assessment By Isacsson, Gunnar; Karlström, Anders; Swärdh, Jan-Erik
  3. Does More Mean Better? Sibling Sex Composition and the Link between Family Size and Children’s Quality By Baez, Javier E.
  4. Never the Same After the First Time: The Satisfaction of the Second-Generation Self-Employed By Clark, Andrew E.; Colombier, Nathalie; Masclet, David
  5. Changes in the Concept of and Approaches to Work Satisfaction By Kaarel Haav
  6. The Human Development Index: A History By Elizabeth Stanton
  7. Behavioural and welfare effects of basic income policies : An a simulation for European Countries By Colombino Ugo; Locatelli Marilena; Narazani Edlira; O'Donoghue Cathal; Shima Isilda
  8. Employee Satisfaction, Firm Value and Firm Productivity By Roger Best

  1. By: Lucie Davoine (Ecole d'économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, CEE - Centre d'études de l'emploi - Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: L’objet de cet article est d’examiner les questions que soulève l’utilisation de données sur le « bien-être subjectif » pour évaluer les politiques publiques. En termes plus académiques, il s’agit de déterminer dans quelle mesure l’économie du bonheur, en plein essor, peut contribuer à renouveler l’économie du bien-être, qui serait en perte de vitesse pour certains. Pour mieux cerner les enjeux de cette question, la première partie situe l’économie du bonheur et l’économie du bien-être dans l’histoire de la pensée économique. La deuxième partie présente les arguments méthodologiques de l’économie du bonheur, ainsi que sa contribution au renouvellement des recommandations de politiques économiques et de l’économie du bien-être. La dernière partie souligne que le bonheur est un critère utile, mais qu’il ne saurait être le seul critère pour juger les états de la société : si l’économie du bonheur peut éviter une forme de paternalisme ou d’ethnocentrisme, les incertitudes méthodologiques qui l’entourent encore, et les objections de principe nous invitent à ne pas faire du bonheur le seul baromètre de l’action publique.
    Keywords: économie du bonheur, économie du bien-être, bien-être subjectif, utilitarisme, « welfarisme »
    Date: 2008–04–28
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:papers:hal-00276218_v1&r=hap
  2. By: Isacsson, Gunnar (VTI); Karlström, Anders (KTH); Swärdh, Jan-Erik (VTI)
    Abstract: This paper compares estimates of the value of commuting time, working time and household working time from empirical models of subjective assessments of life satisfaction and job satisfaction, respectively, to the corresponding estimates obtained from an empirical search model of the labour market. The results indicate that all three variables produce rather high estimates of the value of commuting time. The results regarding the value of working time differ more between the different outcome variables and it is only significantly different from zero in the model of life satisfaction. Perhaps less surprisingly, the estimate of the value of household working time is also only significantly different from zero in the model of life satisfaction in contrast to the models of job satisfaction and job durations where it is insignificantly different from zero. This paper compares estimates of the value of commuting time, working time and household working time from empirical models of subjective assessments of life satisfaction and job satisfaction, respectively, to the corresponding estimates obtained from an empirical search model of the labour market. The results indicate that all three variables produce rather high estimates of the value of commuting time. The results regarding the value of working time differ more between the different outcome variables and it is only significantly different from zero in the model of life satisfaction. Perhaps less surprisingly, the estimate of the value of household working time is also only significantly different from zero in the model of life satisfaction in contrast to the models of job satisfaction and job durations where it is insignificantly different from zero.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; job satisfaction; job search; value of time
    JEL: C25 C41 J62 R41
    Date: 2008–04–21
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:vtiwps:2008_002&r=hap
  3. By: Baez, Javier E. (Syracuse University)
    Abstract: Exogenous variation in fertility from parental preferences for sex-mix among their children is used to identify the causal effect of family size on several measures associated with either the allocation of resources towards children within the household or the outcomes of these investments. Results using data from Colombia suggest that family size has negative effects on average child quality. Children from larger families have accumulated almost 1 year less of education, are less likely to enroll in school and about twice as likely to be held back in school. A larger family also increases the likelihood that oldest siblings share a room and reduces the chance that they have access to clean water and sanitary sewer facilities by approximately 15 percentage points, suggesting the existence of negative effects arising from limited household resources. Mothers in these households have less labor participation (over 27 percentage points) and their oldest children are also more likely to engage in labor activities or domestic chores. Children from larger families are also more likely to be physically or psychologically affected by domestic violence within the household. Other less robust but informative calculations using data on anthropometrics, morbidity and immunization records also fit well with the main results of the quasi-experimental research design. The evidence presented here is consistent with the tradeoff between the number and quality of children implied by the theoretical interdependence in their prices and is robust to different specifications, estimation methods and alternative sub-samples.
    Keywords: fertility, household behavior, children’s well-being, Colombia
    JEL: D1 J1 O1
    Date: 2008–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3472&r=hap
  4. By: Clark, Andrew E. (PSE); Colombier, Nathalie (University of Rennes); Masclet, David (University of Rennes)
    Abstract: Previous empirical work has shown that the self-employed are generally more satisfied than salaried workers. This paper contributes to the existing literature in two ways. First, using French data from the ECHP and British data from the BHPS, we investigate the domains over which this differential operates. We show that, after controlling for occupation, self-employed workers are generally more satisfied with working conditions and pay, but less satisfied than employees with respect to job security. We then consider the differences between the first- and second-generation self-employed. The first-generation self-employed (those whose parents were not self-employed) are more satisfied overall than are the second-generation self-employed. We argue that this finding is consistent with the self-employed partly comparing their labor market outcomes with those of their parents, as well as parental transfers which loosen the self-employment participation constraint. This result is found in both pooled and panel analysis.
    Keywords: satisfaction, self-employment, parents, intergenerational comparisons
    JEL: J20 J21 J23 J24
    Date: 2008–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3476&r=hap
  5. By: Kaarel Haav (International University Audentes)
    Abstract: TThe paper reviews the main changes in the concept of work satisfaction in organization theory and management practice in the last century. It particularly focuses on developments in Estonia. The author contrasts dualist and integrated concepts of employees and organizations. Most of the empirical studies focus on hedonistic individuals and ignore the social construction of identities (Shamir 1991). In such psychological framework, the dilemmas of attitude-behaviour and satisfaction-performance can not be solved. Although the role of integrated approaches is increasing (especially in theories on organizational culture and identity), the psychological paradigm still dominates, especially in the practice of traditional hierarchical organizations. The paper describes a theoretical and an empirical typology of work satisfaction, based on social (organizational) and psychological (motivational) dimensions. They were developed in Estonia in the 1970s. These typologies reveal the role of satisfaction in regulation of work activities. The author relies on social and psychological dimensions of leadership and designs a new typology of leadership styles.
    Keywords: work motivation and activity, typology of satisfaction, psychological and sociological approaches, work and organizational design, employee participation
    JEL: M14
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ttu:wpaper:170&r=hap
  6. By: Elizabeth Stanton
    Abstract: This article recounts the intellectual history of the UNDP’s Human Development Index. It begins with the early history of welfare economics and follows this field through three successive revolutions in thought, culminating in the theory of human development. The first section traces this history from the origins of economic “utility” theory to Amartya Sen’s human capabilities approach. The second section chronicles past and present measures of social welfare used in the fields of economics and development, including national income and a variety of composite measures, up to and including HDI.
    Keywords: human development; well-being; human development index; economic history of thought; social welfare measurement
    Date: 2007
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uma:periwp:wp127&r=hap
  7. By: Colombino Ugo (University of Turin); Locatelli Marilena (University of Turin); Narazani Edlira (University of Turin); O'Donoghue Cathal; Shima Isilda (University of Turin)
    Abstract: In this paper we develop and estimate a microeconometric model of household labour supply for four European countries representative of different economies and welfare policy regimes: Denmark, Italy, Portugal and United Kingdom. We then simulate, under the constraint of constant net tax revenue, the effects of 10 hypothetical tax-transfer reforms which include various alternative versions of a Basic Income policy. We produce various indexes and criteria according to which the reforms can be ranked. It turns out that in every country there are many reforms that can improve upon the current status according to many criteria and that might be “politically” feasible. Overall, the non meanstested policies have a better performance and progressive tax rules are somehow more efficient than the flat tax rules.
    Date: 2008–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uto:dipeco:200806&r=hap
  8. By: Roger Best (University of Central Missouri)
    Abstract: We examine whether self-reported employee satisfaction is associated with higher firm valuation and productivity. Using a sample of firms from Fortune magazine’s list of "100 Best Companies to Work For", companies in which employees report high levels of satisfaction, we find that these firms have valuations that are significantly greater than both their respective industry medians and matched firms. The firms in our sample also exhibit greater levels of productivity and efficiency. Thus, successful efforts in increasing employee satisfaction appear to enhance overall firm productivity, which is subsequently rewarded by investors through higher equity values.
    Keywords: Employee satisfaction, firm value, firm productivity
    JEL: G30 G12 J41
    Date: 2008–05
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:umn:wpaper:0806&r=hap

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