nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2009‒07‒11
ten papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Will You Still Need Me – When I'm 64? By van Ours, Jan C.
  2. How Does Retirement Affect Health? By Behncke, Stefanie
  3. Job Satisfaction and the Labor Market Institutions in Urban China By Heywood, John S.; Siebert, W. Stanley; Wei, Xiangdong
  4. Does Labor Supply Respond to a Flat Tax? Evidence from the Russian Tax Reform By Duncan, Denvil; Sabirianova Peter, Klara
  5. Public-good valuation and intrafamily allocation By Strand, Jon
  6. Interfuel Substitution: A Meta-Analysis By David I. Stern
  7. On Ageing, Health and Poverty in Rural India By Manoj K. Pandey
  8. Household borrowing after personal bankruptcy By Song Han; Geng Li
  9. A multiplicity of approaches to institutional analysis. Applications to the government and the arts By Bruno S. Frey
  10. Political Determinants of Economic Reforms in the Post-Communist Transition Countries By Staehr, Karsten; Tamazian, Artur; Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya

  1. By: van Ours, Jan C. (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: For various reasons the relationship between age and productivity is a matter of policy concern. I present new empirical research showing how productivity is affected by age. I study age effects at the individual level by analyzing data on running and publishing in economic journals. Furthermore I present empirical evidence at the firm level on the relationship between age, wage and productivity. In particular I address the potential wage-productivity gap that might occur at higher ages. I conclude that the productivity of older workers indeed decreases with their age. Nevertheless, the decline is limited. Furthermore, I find no evidence of a pay-productivity at higher ages.
    Keywords: age, productivity, matched worker-firm data
    JEL: J14 J24 J31
    Date: 2009–06
  2. By: Behncke, Stefanie (University of St. Gallen)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of retirement on various health outcomes. Data stem from the first three waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). With this informative data, non-parametric matching methods can be applied to identify causal effects. It is found that retirement significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with a chronic condition. In particular, it raises the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease and being diagnosed with cancer. Estimates also indicate that retirement has quite diverse effects for different individuals.
    Keywords: retirement, health, matching methods, ELSA
    JEL: I10 J14 J26
    Date: 2009–06
  3. By: Heywood, John S. (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee); Siebert, W. Stanley (University of Birmingham, UK); Wei, Xiangdong (Lingnan University)
    Abstract: The determinants of worker job satisfaction are estimated using a representative survey of three major cities in China. Legally segregated migrants, floaters, earn significantly less than otherwise equivalent non-migrants but routinely report greater job satisfaction, a finding not previously reported. We confirm a positive role for membership in the communist party but find that it exists only for non-migrants suggesting a club good aspect to membership. In contrast to earlier studies, many controls mirror those found in western democracies including the "paradox of the contented female worker."
    Keywords: job satisfaction, internal migrants, party membership, China
    JEL: J28 J61 O17 D73
    Date: 2009–06
  4. By: Duncan, Denvil (Georgia State University); Sabirianova Peter, Klara (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: We exploit the exogenous change in marginal tax rates created by the Russian flat tax reform of 2001 to identify the effect of taxes on labor supply of males and females. We apply the weighted difference-in-difference regression approach and instrumental variables to the labor supply function estimated on individual panel data. The mean regression results indicate that the tax reform led to a statistically significant increase in male hours of work but had no effect on that of females. However, we find a positive response to tax changes at both tails of the female hour distribution. We also find that the reform increased the probability of finding a job among both males and females. Despite significant variation in individual responses, the aggregate labor supply elasticities are trivial and suggest that reform-induced changes in labor supply were an unlikely explanation for the amplified personal income tax revenues that followed the reform.
    Keywords: labor supply, personal income tax, flat tax, labor supply elasticity, difference-in-difference, regression discontinuity, wage endogeneity, employment participation, Russia, transition
    JEL: H3 J2 J3 P2
    Date: 2009–06
  5. By: Strand, Jon (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: I derive the value of marginal changes in a public good for two-person households, measured alternatively by household member i’s willingness to pay (WTP) for the good on behalf of the household, WTPi(H), or by the sum of individual WTP values across family members, WTP(C). Households are assumed to allocate their resources in efficient Nash bargains over one private good for each member, and one common household good. WTPi(H) is then found by trading off the public good against the household good, and WTP(C) by trading the public good off against the private goods. I show that WTPi(H) is on average a correct representation of WTP(C), but is higher (lower) than this average when member 1 has a higher (lower) marginal public good value than member 2. Pure and paternalistic altruism (the latter attached to consumption of the public good) both move each member’s WTP on behalf of the household closer to the true aggregate WTP, while only the latter raises aggregate WTP. The results have important implications for interpretation of results from contingent valuation surveys of public-goods. In a large sample, individuals tend to represent households correctly on average when asked about household WTP, and counting all members’ WTP answers on behalf of the household will lead to double counting.
    Keywords: Public goods; willingness to pay; contingent valuation; intrafamily allocation; Nash bargaining
    JEL: D13 D64 H41 Q26
    Date: 2009–06–22
  6. By: David I. Stern
    Abstract: Interfuel substitutability has been of longstanding interest to the energy economics and policy community. However, no quantitative meta-analysis has yet been carried out of this literature. This paper fills this gap by analyzing a broad sample of studies of interfuel substitution in the industrial sector, manufacturing industry or subindustries, or macro-economy of a variety of both developed and developing economies. Publication bias is controlled for by including the primary study sample size in the meta-regression. Results for the shadow elasticities of substitution between coal, oil, gas, and electricity for forty-six primary studies show that at the level of the industrial sector there are easy substitution possibilities between all the fuel pairs with the exception of gas-electricity and coal-electricity. Substitution possibilities seem more constrained at the macro level and less constrained in sub-industries. Estimates also vary across countries and there seems to be less substitutability in more developed economies. Publication bias does not seem to be present, but model and data specification issues very significantly affect the estimates derived by each individual study. Estimates from cross-section regressions are generally largest, fixed effects panel estimates intermediate in magnitude, and time-series estimates are mostly much smaller. Econometric research suggests that the fixed effects estimates are likely the best among the existing studies, though biased downwards.
    Keywords: Meta-analysis, energy, substitution, elasticity, interfuel
    JEL: D24 Q40
    Date: 2009
  7. By: Manoj K. Pandey
    Abstract: In this paper, the trend and determinants of health and poverty among the elderly in rural India is analysed. Two rounds of National Sample Survey (NSS) data for the year 1995-96 and 2004 are employed. The analysis has been done with independent and pooled datasets. Our analysis shows that levels of consumption poverty have declined marginally between 1995-96 and 2004 while increased proportion of elderly with poor health status is continued. Results suggest that poverty is one of the key determinants of health among elderly in rural India.
    Keywords: health, poverty, elderly
    JEL: I32 J14 I12
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Song Han; Geng Li
    Abstract: A large literature has examined factors leading to filing for personal bankruptcy, but little is known about household borrowing after bankruptcy. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Finances, we find that relative to comparable nonfilers, bankruptcy filers generally have more limited access to unsecured credit but borrow more secured debt post bankruptcy, and they pay higher interest rates on all types of debt. We also find that credit access and borrowing costs improve as more time passed since filing. However, filers experience renewed debt payment difficulties and accumulate less wealth, even many years after filing, suggesting that for many bankrupt households, debt discharges fail to generate an effective fresh start as intended by the law. Our estimate also provides empirical guidance for calibrating the equilibrium models of household credit.
    Date: 2009
  9. By: Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: Four types of “economics” relevant for institutional analysis are distinguished: Standard Neoclassical Economics; Socio-Economics or Social Economics; New Institutional Economics; and Psychological Economics (often misleadingly called Behavioural Economics). The paper argues that an extension of Neoclassical Economics with elements from other social sciences (including political science, sociology, psychology, law and anthropology) is fruitful to explain institutions because it allows us to maintain the strength of that approach. Social Economics can play an important role helping to overcome the limitations of Neoclassics. However, it should become more concrete, integrate what is useful in Neoclassics, and should seriously engage in empirical research.
    Keywords: Institutional Economics, Neoclassics, Psychological Economics, Behavioural Economics, institutions.
    JEL: Z11 H77 P16
    Date: 2009–06
  10. By: Staehr, Karsten; Tamazian, Artur; Vadlamannati, Krishna Chaitanya
    Abstract: This paper examines how political institutions and electoral outcomes have affected the economic reform process in the post-communist transition countries. Panel data estimations on annual data for 26 transition economies from 1992 to 2006 suggest that the institutional structure of the economy has been of importance, at least for the western-most transition countries. Democratisation and a relatively short exposure to communist rule have been conducive to economic reform, while the timing of elections and whether the government commands a majority in parliament appear to have been unimportant. Governments with right-wing ideology have implemented more market-economic reforms than governments with other ideologies. A high development level but also high inflation have proved conducive to reforms, while unemployment has had the opposite effect.
    Keywords: Economic reforms; political economy; political institutions; economic development
    JEL: P21 H11 P26
    Date: 2009–05–01

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