New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2008‒12‒21
five papers chosen by

  1. Boon or Bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity By Andrew E. Clark; Andreas Knabe; Steffen Rätzel
  2. Socio-Economic Differences in Mortality: Implications for Pensions Policy By Edward Whitehouse; Asghar Zaidi
  3. "Those Who Are Left Behind: An Estimate of the Number of Family Members of Suicide Victims in Japan" By Joe Chen; Yun Jeong Choi; Kohta Mori; Yasayuki Sawada; Saki Sugano
  4. Analyse des conditions de l'habitat en Tunisie: une approche par la statistique multivariée By Filali, Radhouane
  5. Tracking, Attrition and Data Quality in the Kenyan Life Panel Survey Round 1 (KLPS-1) By Sarah Baird; Joan Hamory; Edward Miguel

  1. By: Andrew E. Clark; Andreas Knabe; Steffen Rätzel
    Abstract: The social norm of unemployment suggests that aggregate unemployment reduces the well-being of the employed, but has a far smaller effect on the unemployed. We use German panel data to reproduce this standard result, but then suggest that the appropriate distinction may not be between employment and unemployment, but rather between higher and lower levels of labour-market security. Those with good job prospects, both employed and unemployed, are strongly negatively affected by regional unemployment. However, the insecure employed and the poor-prospect unemployed are less negatively, or even positively, affected. We use our results to analyse labour-market inequality and unemployment hysteresis.
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Edward Whitehouse; Asghar Zaidi
    Abstract: The analyses included in the report show that there are big socio-economic differences in mortality, especially for men, and they appear to have become bigger over time. The report discusses implications of mortality differentials for five major areas of pension policy: the progressivity of the pension system, the pension eligibility age, the retirement incentives, future pension expenditures and private pensions. The empirical work shows that the mortality differentials reduce progressivity in pension systems. Moreover, there is empirical evidence that raising retirement age is not more unfair to socio-economic groups with lower life expectancy. <BR>Les analyses présentées ici montrent qu’il existe de fortes différences socioéconomiques en termes de mortalité, surtout chez les hommes, et qu’elles se sont apparemment accentuées au fil du temps. Ce document examine les conséquences des écarts de mortalité pour cinq grands aspects de la politique de retraite : la progressivité du système de retraite, l’âge d’ouverture des droits à pension, les incitations à la retraite, les dépenses de retraite futures et les pensions privées. Les travaux empiriques font apparaître que les écarts de mortalité réduisent la progressivité des régimes de retraite. De plus, des données d’observation montrent que le relèvement de l’âge de la retraite n’est pas plus pénalisant pour les catégories socioéconomiques ayant une espérance de vie plus courte.
    JEL: H55 I1 J14
    Date: 2008–12–05
  3. By: Joe Chen (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Yun Jeong Choi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Kohta Mori (Department of Economics, Yale University); Yasayuki Sawada (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Saki Sugano (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature of suicide studies by presenting procedures and its estimates of the number of family members who lose their loved ones to suicide. Using Japanese aggregate level data, three main findings emerge: first, there are approximately five bereaved family members per suicide; second, in 2006, there were about 90,000 children who had lost a parent to suicide; and third, in 2006, there were about three million living family members who had lost a loved one to suicide. The direct production loss of bereaved family members in 2006 alone is estimated at approximately 197 million USD. These results are valuable in evaluating the cost-effectiveness of suicide prevention programs and in designing appropriate policy instruments.
    Date: 2008–12
  4. By: Filali, Radhouane
    Abstract: This paper discusses housing condition in Tunisia in the late 1990s, using a housing condition indicator that relies on less arbitrary weights. Evidences from household survey data indicate that despite the substantial improvement of tunisian's housing condition between 1994 and 2001, great disparities between urban and rural areas and between regions prevail. Moreover, it is shown that public authorities should stimulate the supply of social housing and local services in order to reduce housing poverty and disparities.
    Keywords: Indicateur composite; Conditions de l'Habitat; Inégalité; Pauvreté
    JEL: R58 D63 I32
    Date: 2008–06–20
  5. By: Sarah Baird (UC San Diego); Joan Hamory (UC Berkeley); Edward Miguel (UC Berkeley and NBER)
    Abstract: Understanding the possible pitfalls of survey data is critical for empirical research. Among other things, poor data quality can lead to biased regression estimates, potentially resulting in incorrect interpretations that mislead researchers and policymakers alike. Common data problems include difficulties in tracking respondents and high survey attrition, enumerator error and bias, and respondent reporting error. This paper describes and analyzes these issues in Round 1 of the Kenyan Life Panel Survey (KLPS-1), collected in 2003-2005. The KLPS-1 is an innovative longitudinal dataset documenting a wide range of outcomes for Kenyan youths who had originally attended schools participating in a deworming treatment program starting in 1998. The careful design of this survey allows for examination of an array of data quality issues. First, we explore the existence and implications of sample attrition bias. Basic residential, educational, and mortality information was obtained for 88% of target respondents, and personal contact was made with 84%, an exceptionally high follow-up rate for a young adult population in a less developed country. Moreover, rates of sample attrition are nearly identical for respondents who were randomly assigned deworming treatment and for those who were not, a key factor in the validity of subsequent statistical analysis. One vital component of this success is the tracking of respondents both nationally and across international borders (in our case, into Uganda), thus we discuss in detail the costs and benefits of tracking movers. Finally, we study KLPS-1 data quality more broadly by examining enumerator error and bias, as well as survey response consistency. We conclude that the extent of enumerator error is low, with an average of less than one recording error per survey. Errors decrease over time as enumerator experience with the survey instrument increases, but increase over the course of multiple interviews within a single day, presumably due to fatigue. We do find some evidence that the enumerator-respondent match in terms of gender, ethnicity, and religion correlates with responses regarding trust of others and religious activities, suggesting some field officer bias on sensitive questions. Reporting reliability is analyzed using respondent re-surveys. These checks show high levels of consistency across survey/re-survey rounds for the respondent's own characteristics and personal history,with lower reliability rates on questions asked about others' characteristics. The steps taken in the design of KLPS-1 to avoid common errors in survey data collection greatly improved the quality of this panel dataset, and provide some valuable lessons for future field data collection projects.
    Keywords: survey data, enumerator error, longitudinal dataset, Kenya, deworming,
    Date: 2008–08–01

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