New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2009‒02‒14
eight papers chosen by

  1. Voices from the Field: Welfare Policy and Well-being of Child Protection Social Workers in UK By Jamal, Mayeda
  2. Job satisfaction, working conditions and job-expectations By Ambra Poggi
  3. Measuring Subjective Expectations in Developing Countries: A Critical Review and New Evidence By Delavande, Adeline; Gine, Xavier; McKenzie, David
  4. Distribution of Local Government Revenue Sources and Citizen Well-Being By Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Zereyesus, Yacob A.; Ross, Kara
  5. Television and Divorce: Evidence from Brazilian Novelas By Alberto Chong; Eliana La Ferrara
  6. Perception towards the Importance of Education among Muslim Women in Papar, Sabah (Malaysia) By Mansur, Kasim; Abd. Rahim, Dayangku Aslinah; Lim, Beatrice; Mahmud, Roslinah
  8. The effect of physician supply on health status as measured in the NPHS By Emmanuelle Pierard

  1. By: Jamal, Mayeda (Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines two approaches to Child Protection Policy and Practise in UK. Governmental policy is examined first, followed by an overview of alternative approach suggested by its critics. Efficacy of policy reforms is examined from the perspective of the front liners, i.e., the child protection social workers who are the main agents responsible for translating policy into practise. The “reality” of the social workers is mapped through empirical analysis and used as a measure to indicate which ideology, one currently adopted by the State or the one being advocated by its critics, is better suited to improving well-being of workers as well as recipients of welfare. The importance of taking their contextual reality into account when formulating policy is highlighted as crucial to determining the fate of the policy as well quality of life of social workers. The findings are strongly in favour of the critics and highlight severe shortcomings in current State ideology of child and family welfare.
    Keywords: Social Policy; Child Welfare; New Public Management; Child Protection Social Workers
    Date: 2008–03–01
  2. By: Ambra Poggi
    Abstract: According to Sen’s capability approach, objective working conditions can be seen as functionings (i.e. things experienced by the individuals). The corresponding capability set includes all sets of alternatives working conditions existing in the society for a given kind of job. Observing the existing capability set of working conditions, individuals formulate expectations about their own working conditions. These expectations might create biases in the realistic perceptions of job satisfaction. Our aim is to study the determinants of worker perceptions of quality of work in EU Countries. In particular, we shed light on the complex relationship that exists between job satisfaction, objective working conditions and workers expectations. First, we determine which objective working conditions impact on the level of job satisfaction. Second, we test the existence, and the signs, of biases in the realistic perception of job satisfaction due to the existence of expectations. Third, we test if expectations are affected by the working conditions actually experienced in the job place. From a technically point of view, we estimate a two-tiered stochastic frontier model. We find that expectations biases exist. High expectations have stronger effects in reducing job satisfaction than low expectation in increasing job expectations. Finally, expectations are affected by the working conditions actually experienced by the workers.
    Keywords: Job satisfaction, working conditions, expectations, two-tiered stochastic frontier model.
    JEL: J81 J28 I31
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Delavande, Adeline (RAND); Gine, Xavier (The World Bank); McKenzie, David (The World Bank)
    Abstract: The majority of economic decisions taken by individuals are forward looking and thus involve their expectations of future outcomes. Understanding the expectations that individuals have is thus of crucial importance to designing and evaluating policies in health, education, finance, migration, social protection, and many other areas. However, the majority of developing country surveys are static in nature and do not contain information on the subjective expectations of individuals. Possible reasons given for not collecting this information include fears that poor, illiterate individuals do not understand probability concepts, that it takes far too much time to ask such questions, or that the answers add little value. This paper provides a critical review and new analysis of subjective expectations data from developing countries and refutes each of these concerns. The authors find that people in developing countries can generally understand and answer probabilistic questions, such questions are not prohibitive in time to ask, and the expectations are useful predictors of future behavior and economic decisions. The paper discusses the different methods being tried for eliciting such information, the key methodological issues involved, and the open research questions. The available evidence suggests that collecting expectations data is both feasible and valuable, suggesting that it should be incorporated into more developing country surveys.
    Keywords: Subjective Expectations; Survey Methodology; Development.
    JEL: C81 D84 O12
    Date: 2009–01–01
  4. By: Amanor-Boadu, Vincent; Zereyesus, Yacob A.; Ross, Kara
    Abstract: The paper aims at examining how sources and distribution of revenue at the local government level influence the economic well-being of citizens. The results of this study help to illuminate the effect of revenue sources on local government efforts on economic development and their capacity to influence the well-being of their citizens. We hypothesized that the distribution of local government revenue influenced the wealth status of its citizens. Three empirical proxy measures for citizen well-being were used in the estimation of three different panel data models. Results from the estimations suggest that local government revenue generated from its citizens (e.g., taxes, insurance and charges) have more influence on citizen well-being than non-citizen generated revenue sources (e.g., inter-governmental transfers). The analysis provides insights into how economic development policies may be conceived in local governments, especially small communities, to ensure sustained economic prosperity of its citizens.
    Keywords: Local government, revenues, tax, citizen well-being, Community/Rural/Urban Development,
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Alberto Chong; Eliana La Ferrara
    Abstract: This paper studies the link between television and divorce in Brazil by exploiting variation in the timing of availability of the signal of Rede Globo—the network that had a virtual monopoly on telenovelas in the country—across municipal areas. Using three rounds of Census data (1970, 1980 and 1991) and controlling for area fixed effects and for time-varying characteristics, the paper finds that the share of women who are separated or divorced increases significantly after the Globo signal becomes available. The effect is robust to controlling for potential determinants of Globo’s entry strategy and is stronger for relatively smaller areas, where the signal reaches a higher fraction of the population.
    Keywords: Divorce, Television, Brazil, Soap Operas, Media, Women, Empowerment
    JEL: O1 J12 N36
    Date: 2009–01
  6. By: Mansur, Kasim; Abd. Rahim, Dayangku Aslinah; Lim, Beatrice; Mahmud, Roslinah
    Abstract: Malaysian women have continued to play an increasingly important role in the national development of the country including greater participation in the economy and labor market. These improvements were made possible by the increasing numbers of females having access to education. Education provides better work opportunities and thus increases the level of income of an individual. Therefore education is perceived to be an important factor in human capital formation. In Islam, every Muslim is required to acquire knowledge as much as possible. Knowledge generates wealth. Thus, Islam condemns idleness, inactivity and poverty are condemned. A Muslim should be actively involved in the pursuit of increasing their knowledge and skill to ensure that their life is not of mere subsistence. This paper will look at the perception towards the importance of education among Muslim women. A total of 189 respondents were interviewed from selected kampongs in the district of Papar, Sabah. The data collected was analyzed and reported using descriptive statistics. About 42.4 percent respondents have obtained a diploma and degree level education. From the study, it is found that 78 percent of the total respondents perceived that education is very important. A total of 47.1 percent strongly agreed that education can influence future income. Essentially, a total of 78.8 per cent agreed that higher level of education leads to a higher level of income.
    Keywords: Education; Women; Sabah
    JEL: O18 I20
    Date: 2009–02–09
  7. By: Bruno S. Frey; David A. Savage (School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology); Benno Torgler (School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology)
    Abstract: The sinking of the Titanic in April 1912 took the lives of 68 percent of the people aboard. Who survived? It was women and children who had a higher probability of being saved, not men. Likewise, people traveling in first class had a better chance of survival than those in second and third class. British passengers were more likely to perish than members of other nations. This extreme event represents a rare case of a well-documented life and death situation where social norms were enforced. This paper shows that economic analysis can account for human behavior in such situations.
    Keywords: Decision under Pressure, Tragic Events and Disasters, Survival, Quasi-Natural Experiment, Altruism
    JEL: D63 D64 D71 D81
    Date: 2009–02–06
  8. By: Emmanuelle Pierard (Department of Economics, University of Waterloo)
    Abstract: We use data from the Canadian National Population Health Survey and the Canadian Institute for Health Information to estimate the relation- ship between per capita supply of physicians, both general practitioners and specialists, on health status. Measures of quality of life, self-assessed health status and the Health Utility Index are explored. The sample consists of all individuals who were age 18 or over at the beginning of the survey in 1994, and the sub-sample includes only individuals who were not diagnosed with a chronic condition for the first four years. Most previous studies of the effect of physician supply on health status used data only on individuals who had specific health problems, and many of them used outcomes related to the length of life of the patient. Random effects ordered probits are used to model self assessed health status and quantile regressions are used for the Health Utility Index. A higher supply of specialists is correlated with worse health outcomes, while a higher supply of general practitioners is correlated with better health outcomes as measured by both measures of health status.
    JEL: J22
    Date: 2009–01

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