New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2008‒05‒17
six papers chosen by

  1. Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development By Janet Currie
  2. An Analysis of Mental Stress in Ireland, 1994-2000 By Madden, D
  3. Gender Differences in Mental Well- Being: A Decomposition Analysis By Madden, D
  4. Ordinal and Cardinal Measures of Health Inequality: An Empirical Comparison By Madden, D
  5. Le noyau dur de la pauvreté au Mexique By Dorothée Boccanfuso; Amélie Dansereau
  6. Lifetime Health Consequences of Child Labor in Brazil By Lee, Chanyoung; Orazem, Peter

  1. By: Janet Currie
    Abstract: There are many possible pathways between parental education, income, and health, and between child health and education, but only some of them have been explored in the literature. This essay focuses on links between parental socioeconomic status (as measured by education, income, occupation, or in some cases area of residence) and child health, and between child health and adult education or income. Specifically, I ask two questions: What is the evidence regarding whether parental socioeconomic status affects child health? And, what is the evidence relating child health to future educational and labor market outcomes? I show that there is now strong evidence of both links, suggesting that health could play a role in the intergenerational transmission of economic status.
    JEL: I12 J24
    Date: 2008–05
  2. By: Madden, D
    Abstract: The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is frequently used as a measure of mental well-being with those people with values below a certain threshold regarded as suffering from mental stress. Comparison of mental stress levels across populations may then be sensitive to the chosen threshold. This paper uses stochastic dominance techniques to regardless of the threshold chosen. Decomposition techniques suggest that changes in the proportion unemployed and in the protective effect of income, education and marital status upon mental health were the principal factors underlying this fall.
    Keywords: GHQ, mental stress, dominance, decomposition.
    JEL: I12 I31 I32
    Date: 2008–04
  3. By: Madden, D
    Abstract: The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is frequently used as a measure of mental well-being. A consistent pattern across countries is that women report lower levels of mental well-being, as measured by the GHQ. This paper applies decomposition techniques to Irish data for 1994 and 2000 to examine the factors lying behind the gender differences in GHQ score. For both 1994 and 2000 about two thirds of the raw difference is accounted for by differences in characteristics, with employment status the single most important factor.
    Keywords: Mental Well-Being, decomposition, gender difference.
    JEL: I12 I31 I32
    Date: 2008–04
  4. By: Madden, D
    Abstract: When measuring health inequality using ordinal data, analysts typically must choose between indices specifically based upon ordinal data and more standard indices using ordinal data which has been transformed into cardinal data. This paper compares inequality rankings across a number of different approaches and finds considerable sensitivity to the choice between ordinal and cardinal based indices. There is relatively little sensitivity to the ethical choices made by the analyst in terms of the weight attached to different parts of the distribution.
    Keywords: Inequality, cardinal, ordinal.
    JEL: D63 I18 I31
  5. By: Dorothée Boccanfuso (GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke); Amélie Dansereau (GREDI, Faculte d'administration, Université de Sherbrooke)
    Abstract: Une analyse de pauvreté basée sur une approche non monétaire permet de cerner plusieurs aspects du phénomène de la pauvreté qui ne sont pas toujours ciblés par l’approche monétaire. Une analyse de pauvreté basée sur la combinaison des deux approches permet alors de mesurer ce phénomène dans son ensemble afin de définir quelles en sont les causes et quelles devraient être les mesures de réduction voire disparition de cette pauvreté. L’objectif principal de cette recherche est de comparer des résultats obtenus à partir d’une analyse monétaire avec deux analyses non monétaires grâce à l’indice du noyau dur. L’analyse monétaire est basée sur trois indices, soit l’indice alimentaire, l’indice des capacités et l’indice patrimonial. La première analyse non monétaire est faite à partir d’un indicateur composite ciblant les capacités humaines liées à la santé et à l’éducation. La seconde cible le capital non monétaire ou patrimoine acquis par le ménage. Nos résultats (préliminaires) montrent que la dimension non monétaire des capacités liées à la santé et à l’éducation modifie les résultats obtenus grâce à la seule analyse monétaire. Ceci est encore plus vrai pour les ménages vivant en zone rurale au Mexique.
    Keywords: canalyse de pauvreté, analyse des correspondances multiples, noyau dur de la pauvreté, Mexique
    JEL: I32 O18 O54
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Lee, Chanyoung; Orazem, Peter
    Abstract: The health consequences of child labor may take time to manifest themselves. This study examines whether adults who worked as children experience increased incidence of illness or physical disability. The analysis corrects for the likely endogeneity of child labor and years of schooling using variation across localities in the number of schools and teachers per child, and in low skill wages dated back to the time when the adults were children. Results show that the effects of child labor on adult health are complex. When child labor and schooling are treated as exogenous variables, child labor appears to increase the likelihood of poor health outcomes in adulthood across a wide variety of health measures. However, when child labor and schooling are considered endogenous, they lose power to explain adverse adult health outcomes in almost all cases. When analyzed separately for subsamples of males and females, the explanatory power of schooling and child labor completely disappears. Failing to find a causal link between child labor and adverse adult health outcomes, we conclude that the correlation between the two is related to unobservable health and ability endowments that jointly affect child labor supply, schooling, and adult health.
    Keywords: child labor; health; wages; schooling; school quality; occupational choice
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2008–05–12

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