New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2008‒06‒07
seven papers chosen by

  1. LA LIBERTAD, EL LIBRE ALBEDRÍO Y EL ENFOQUE DE LAS CAPACIDADES: el desarrollo humano como libertad By Luisa Montuschi
  2. Employment Outcomes in the Welfare State By Rachel Ngai; Christopher A. Pissarides
  3. L’hypothèse d’utilité relative dans l’analyse économique : enjeux et conséquences. By Thi Kim Cuong Pham
  4. Gender difference in the long-term impact of famine: By Mu, Ren; Zhang, Xiaobo
  5. Marriage behavior response to prime-age adult mortality: Evidence from Malawi By Ueyama, Mika; Yamauchi, Futoshi
  6. Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement By Scott E. Carrell; Richard L. Fullerton; James E. West
  7. Development Paradox in Pakistan By Abbass, Ahsan; Ahmed, Vaqar

  1. By: Luisa Montuschi
    Abstract: El enfoque de las capacidades propuesto por Amartya Sen para la consideración de las cuestiones referidas al desarrollo económico y a la pobreza, así como lo concerniente al bienestar de las personas, se basa en dos conceptos o ideas esenciales indisolubles: la de libertad y la de funcionamientos, que algunos definen como los “seres y quehaceres (o acciones)” valiosos que constituyen los fines de la vida humana. De acuerdo con este enfoque el desarrollo debe ser evaluado en términos de “la expansión de las ‘capacidades’ de la gente para llevar el tipo de vida que valoran y que tienen razones para valorar”. En los Informes de Desarrollo Humano del PNUD se han operacionalizado algunos aspectos relativos a la consideración de las capacidades como indicadores del desarrollo. Sin embargo, existen dudas fundadas relativas a la existencia de libre albedrío. Ha habido una prolongada controversia respecto de si el cerebro humano toma decisiones con anticipación antes de que el agente de manera consciente decida iniciar una acción. Eso arroja dudas ciertas respecto del libre albedrío. Y sin libre albedrío no podría existir la libertad.
    Date: 2008–05
  2. By: Rachel Ngai; Christopher A. Pissarides
    Abstract: We examine the implications of tax and subsidy policies for employment in the "three worlds of welfare", Anglo-Saxon, Continental European and Scandinavian. We argue that home production is key to a proper evaluation of the employment outcomes. Anglo-Saxon low-support policies encourage more overall market employment. Continental transfer polilcies encourage more home production in services with close substitutes at home. Scandinavian policies give incentives to move home production in social services to the market but discourage other service activity. We find support for our claims in sectoral employment data for five representative countries, United States, Britain, France, Italy and Sweden.
    Keywords: welfare state, employment, social services, tax and subsidy, three worlds of welfare
    JEL: E24 I38 J22
    Date: 2008–02
  3. By: Thi Kim Cuong Pham
    Abstract: La fonction d'utilité de l’ homo oeconomicus est synonyme d'absence d'interactions sociales entre agents économiques et d'indépendance des préférences individuelles. Ce postulat d'utilité, dite absolue, est l'objet de nombreuses vérifications empiriques basées à la fois sur des données expérimentales et des données d'enquêtes réelles. Dans le cadre d'une revue de la littérature, cet article présentera, dans un premier temps, des justifications empiriques du postulat d'utilité relative. D'après celui-ci, l'individu aurait tendance à comparer son niveau de vie à une référence de sorte que son bien-être dépendrait en partie de sa position relative dans la société. Cette position relative serait alors assimilée à un statut social dont les enjeux et les conséquences font l'objet de nombreux travaux en analyse économique. Ainsi, dans un deuxième temps, seront présentés les effets de la quête d'un meilleur statut social sur la propriété normative de l'équilibre décentralisé, sur la fiscalité correctrice et la fiscalité redistributive optimale. Cet article met également l'accent sur le rôle de la préférence pour un statut comme un facteur d'explication de la croissance économique ainsi que d'autres phénomènes liés à cette variable tels que l'inégalité, l'évolution du bien-être, la stratification sociale, et la taxation permettant d'atteindre la croissance optimale.
    Keywords: Bien-être; Croissance économique; Politique publique; Statut social; Utilité relative.
    JEL: D6 H31 O4
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Mu, Ren; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: "An increasing literature examines the association between restricted fetal or early childhood growth and the incidence of diseases in adulthood. Little is known, however, about gender difference in this association. We assess the impact of nutritional deficiency in the early lives of survivors of the Chinese Great Famine in terms of health and economic welfare, paying special attention to gender differences. We found evidence of several significant negative impacts for female¾but not male¾survivors, and the gender differences are statistically significant. Furthermore, we show that the selection bias caused by differences in mortality plausibly explains more than two-thirds of the documented gender difference in the long-term health of famine survivors." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Famine, Fetal origins hypothesis, Gender difference, Health and nutrition,
    Date: 2008
  5. By: Ueyama, Mika; Yamauchi, Futoshi
    Abstract: "This paper examines the effect of AIDS-related mortality of the prime-age adult population on marriage behavior among women in Malawi. A rise in prime-age adult mortality increases risks associated with the search for a marriage partner in the marriage market. A possible behavioral change in the marriage market in response to an increase in prime-age adult mortality is for marriage to occur earlier to avoid women's exposure to HIV/AIDS risks under the condition that the risks are higher during singlehood. We test this hypothesis using micro data from Malawi, where prime-age adult mortality has drastically increased. In the analysis, we estimate prime-age adult mortality that sample women have observed during the adolescent period by utilizing retrospective information on the death of their siblings. Empirical analysis shows that excess prime-age adult mortality observed in the local marriage market (district) lowers the marriage age for females and reduces their premarital sexual activities. Since a lower age for first marriage implies less schooling completed, we expect that the average schooling achievement among women would decline. This behavioral change also implies a longer reproduction period during their marriage, which may lead to a higher fertility rate. However, the second implication should be discounted if the reduction of sexual activities also applies to the married population. Lower schooling attainment among women has further implications on human capital formation in the next generation." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Marriage, Sexual behavior,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: Scott E. Carrell; Richard L. Fullerton; James E. West
    Abstract: To estimate peer effects in college achievement we exploit a unique dataset in which individuals have been exogenously assigned to peer groups of about 30 students with whom they are required to spend the majority of their time interacting. This feature enables us to estimate peer effects that are more comparable to changing the entire cohort of peers. Using this broad peer group, we find academic peer effects of much larger magnitude than found in previous studies that have measured peer effects among roommates alone. We find the peer effects persist at a diminishing rate into the sophomore, junior, and senior years, indicating social network peer effects may have long lasting effects on academic achievement. Our findings also suggest that peer effects may be working through study partnerships versus operating through establishment of a social norm of effort.
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2008–05
  7. By: Abbass, Ahsan; Ahmed, Vaqar
    Abstract: Pakistan has been experiencing robust economic growth for the past few years. The macroeconomic position as exhibited by the real sector growth, fiscal indicators and external balance has reasonably improved. However the big question remains; will Pakistan be able to sustain these growth levels? Preserving the momentum becomes difficult when growth is consumption-based. Prosperity if measured by the increased sale of consumer durables gives a partial impression of the underlying economic changes. Promoting luxuries at the opportunity cost of necessities does not promote a pro-savings attitude at the national level and has deeper sociological consequences as well. Pakistan being a small open economy has limited or no control over the consumer or producer price levels. The vulnerability of the economy is again being tested in the face of global energy price increases and food shortages. We try to revisit the stop-go cycle of economic growth in Pakistan, the missing link between sources of growth and meso-micro level development and the knee-jerk reaction type(s) that we adopt as an answer to every economic crises.
    Keywords: Pakistan; Poverty; Development; Inequality; Trade; Production; Taxation; Consumption; Investment
    JEL: O1
    Date: 2008–06–01

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