nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2009‒08‒02
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Human Capital vs. Physical Capital: A Cross-Country Analysis of Human Development Strategies By Rizwana Siddiqui
  2. Does Governance Contribute to Pro-poor Growth? Evidence from Pakistan By Rashida Haq; Uzma Zia
  3. Trends in Inequality, Welfare, and Growth in Pakistan, 1963-64 to 2004-05 By Nadia Zakir; Muhammad Idrees
  4. "Socio-Economic Studies on Suicide: A Survey" By Joe Chen; Yun Jeong Choi; Kohta Mori; Yasuyuki Sawada; Saki Sugano
  5. Technological Progress and Population Growth: Do we have too few children? By Koichi Futagami; Takeo Hori

  1. By: Rizwana Siddiqui (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)
    Abstract: This study estimates a small simultaneous equation model using panel data from sixty-four countries for the years 1996 and 2004. The model is estimated by various techniques—OLS, TSLS, dummy variable approach introducing variation at the regional level, and fixed and random effect approaches introducing variation at the individual country level. The objective is to identify the importance of basic needs in human development strategies in Asia, Africa, and the rest of the world (ROW). The results show that income per capita has priority over basic needs expenditure in development strategies of all regions despite being quantitatively different. However, the importance of basic needs expenditure cannot be denied in terms of capabilities development (improvement in health) that ultimately increases productivity.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Physical Capital, Income Per Capita, Basic Needs Expenditures, Human Development
    JEL: J24 E22 P24
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Rashida Haq (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Uzma Zia (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)
    Abstract: Economic growth is a driving force in reducing poverty, but experience has shown that good governance and pro-poor choices are vitally important in the process of alleviating poverty. This paper explores linkages between governance and pro-poor growth in Pakistan for the period 1996 to 2005. The analysis indicates that governance indicators have low scores and rank at the lowest percentile as compared to other countries. The dimensions of pro-poor growth, which include poverty, inequality, and growth, demonstrate that the poor do not benefit proportionately from economic growth. It is found that poverty and inequality have worsened and the share in income and expenditure for the bottom 20 percent has also decreased, while inflation for this lowestincome group is high as compared to the highest-income group. It is also observed that approximately 25 percent households reported that their economic status was worse than in the previous year, 2004-05. The results of the study show that a strong link exists between governance indicators and pro-poor growth in the country. Econometric analysis shows that there is a strong relationship between good governance and reduction in poverty and inequality. It is concluded that greater voice and accountability, political stability, regulatory quality, and rule of law can control corruption and the pro-poor policies, which ultimately reduce poverty and inequality in the long run. To face the challenge of good governance, Pakistan needs to formulate, and implement effectively, its governance policies to improve the governance dimensions, taking account of both higher growth and the aim of achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which require halving poverty by 2015.
    Keywords: Governance Indicators, Pro-poor Growth, Poverty, Inequality
    JEL: I30 I32 O10
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Nadia Zakir (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Muhammad Idrees (Quaid-i-Azam Univesity, Islamabad)
    Abstract: The present study investigates the trends in inequality, welfare, and growth based on per capita household income/consumption in Pakistan, both its rural and urban areas, from 1963-64 to 2004-05. It employs Gini coefficient to measure inequalities and the Sen welfare index to estimate welfare. Real per capita mean incomes/consumption are worked out to analyse growth. The study finds fluctuating trends in inequality, and rising trends in both welfare and growth. In general, inequality, welfare, and growth remain higher in the urban areas. The study finds income inequality to be more severe as compared to consumption inequality.
    Keywords: Income Distribution, Welfare, Per Capita Income, Gini Coefficient, Pakistan
    JEL: D31 D63
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Joe Chen (Department of Public Finance, National Chengchi University); Yun Jeong Choi (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Kohta Mori (Department of Economics, Yale University); Yasuyuki Sawada (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo); Saki Sugano (Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo)
    Abstract: In this article, we review economic theories and empirical studies on the socioeconomic aspects of suicide. Through our survey, we would like to emphasize the importance of studying suicide by employing a "rational" approach that complements the medical perspective on suicide, which assumes suicide to be the result of "irrational" behavior arising from mental illnesses such as depression and other psychiatric disorders. We first introduce major economic theories of suicide, followed by a summary of a variety of empirical studies from the socioeconomic perspective. We then discuss the recent developments in economic studies on suicide, on the basis of the authors' ongoing project on suicide. In the concluding section, we point out some issues for further studies.
    Date: 2009–07
  5. By: Koichi Futagami (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Takeo Hori (zDepartment of Economics, Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: Do we have too few children? We intend to address this question. In developed countries, the fertility rate has declined since WWII. This may cause a slowdown in the growth of GDP in developed countries. However, important factors for the well-being of individuals are per capita variables, like per capita growth and per capita consumption. In turn, the rate of technological progress determines the growth rates of per capita variables. If the population size is increasing, the labour inputs for R&D activity increase, and thus speed up technological progress. As individuals do not take account of this positive effect when deciding the number of their own children, the number of children may become smaller than the socially optimal number of children. However, an increase in the number of children reduces the assets any one child owns: that is, there is a capital dilution effect. This works in the opposite direction. We examine this issue using an endogenous growth model where the head of a dynastic family decides the number of children.
    Keywords: Technological Progress, Fertility, R&D
    JEL: J1 O30
    Date: 2009–07

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