New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2008‒10‒13
four papers chosen by

  1. Subjective Well-Being and the Duration of Aggregate Unemployment in Europe By Carsten Ochsen
  2. Regional Disparity Measured by Subjective Happiness By Chisako Yamane; Shoko Yamane; Yoshiro Tsutsui
  3. Subjective Measures of Economic Well-Being and the Influence of Income Uncertainty By Schwarze, Johannes
  4. Voters’ dissatisfaction, abstention and entropy: analysis in European countries By Paulo Ferreira; Andreia Dionisio

  1. By: Carsten Ochsen (University of Rostock)
    Abstract: This study examines whether the distribution of aggregate unemployment by duration affects individual well-being. Two hypotheses are provided to explain how the shares of short-term (up to 3 months) and long-term (more than 1 year) unemployed people could affect the well-being of the employed and unemployed: The severity hypothesis and the flow hypothesis. Using data from almost 300,000 individuals from 11 EU countries, an ordered probit estimator is used to analyze the impact of the distribution of aggregate unemployment by duration on individual well-being. We find significant evidence in favor of both the severity and the flow hypotheses. Hence, the fear of losing (or not finding) a job is more detrimental when the prospect is to remain unemployed for a longer time. At some point, however, both the employed and unemployed adapt to unemployment at the macro level. Using an alternative specification that allows for a duration-specific risk of becoming/being unemployed, we arrive at similar conclusions. What seems to bother people is thus not just the risk of becoming/remaining unemployed, but more so the risk of being out of work for 4 to 12 months.
    Keywords: unemployment, unemployment duration, life satisfaction, happiness
    JEL: J64 I31
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Chisako Yamane (Department of Economics, Niigata Sangyo University); Shoko Yamane (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Yoshiro Tsutsui (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: In this paper we estimate the regional disparity of income and happiness between prefectures using the results of questionnaire survey conducted by 21st Century COE program of Osaka University from 2003 to 2006. We found the followings. 1) Three measures of disparity, multiple comparisons, regression over prefecture dummies, and Gini indexes, reveal that the disparity of happiness was smaller than that of income. 2) When a part of income that depends on the personal attiributes as well as attributes of respondents, such as gender and age are adujusted, most of the disparity of happiness between prefectures is dissolved. 3) Three measures indicate that the average income increased, wihile income disparity has widened from 2003 to 2006, and average happiness decreased, while disparity of happiness remained constant over this period.
    Keywords: income disparity, regional disparity, subjective happiness. economics of happiness, Japan
    JEL: R13 I32 D63
    Date: 2008–08
  3. By: Schwarze, Johannes (University of Bamberg)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence that subjective measures of individual well being can be used to study the impact of income uncertainty from an ex ante point of view. Two different measures of subjective well being are under study: Satisfaction with household income and the income evaluation question as developed by Van Praag. It can be shown that satisfaction with income is more affected by ex ante than by ex post volatility of income. The ordinal version of the Van Praag approach might be biased if income uncertainty is essential. The paper was written in 1994.
    Keywords: income uncertainty, subjective well-being, satisfaction, income evaluation
    JEL: C23 D12 D81 I31
    Date: 2008–09
  4. By: Paulo Ferreira (Universidade de Evora, CEFAGE-UE); Andreia Dionisio (Universidade de Evora, CEFAGE-UE)
    Abstract: This paper intends to explore the utilization of entropy through politics and election results, an area just slightly explored. It generalizes the interpretation of entropy, considering it a measure of dissatisfaction and disillusion of populations in relation to politics. Some phenomena like the increase of abstention in a country, consequence of the dissatisfaction of population and of their alienation in relation to politics could be detected and analysed. This discontentment could result, for example, in the appearance of new political parties, with more division of votes and increasing entropy (result of the discontentment and uncertainty by electors). Absolute majorities, while imply less dispersion of votes, are synonym of more confidence in a given party, making a reduction of entropy.
    Keywords: Entropy;Electoral Results; Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction of Population.
    JEL: C19 D72
    Date: 2008

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