nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2009‒08‒30
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Who Uses FTAs? By Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Hiratsuka, Daisuke; Shiino, Kohei; Sukegawa, Seiya
  2. The public health costs of job loss By Andreas Kuhn; Rafael Lalive; Josef Zweimüller
  3. In the eye of the beholder: subjective inequality measures and the demand for redistribution By Andreas Kuhn

  1. By: Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Hiratsuka, Daisuke; Shiino, Kohei; Sukegawa, Seiya
    Abstract: It is noted that utilization of AFTA is low by international standards. In order to clarify the reasons for such low utilization, this paper investigates what kinds of Japanese affiliates in ASEAN are more likely to use FTAs in their exporting, by employing unique affiliate-level data. Our findings are as follow. First, the larger the affiliate is, or the more diversified its procurements’ origins are, the more likely it is to utilize an FTA scheme in its exporting. Second, affiliates exporting actively to developing countries are more likely to use FTAs than those exporting to developed countries. Third, there are clear differences in FTA utilization depending on affiliates’ locations and sectors. These results afford a clue to the reasons for the low FTA utilization in East Asia.
    Keywords: FTA, Micro data, ASEAN, International trade, Regional economic cooperation, International economic integration
    JEL: F15 F53 O53
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: Andreas Kuhn; Rafael Lalive; Josef Zweimüller
    Abstract: We study the short-run effect of involuntary job loss on comprehensive measures of public health costs. We focus on job loss induced by plant closure, thereby addressing the reverse causality problem of deteriorating health leading to job loss as job displacements due to plant closure are unlikely caused by workers' health status, but potentially have important effects on individual workers' health and associated public health costs. Our empirical analysis is based on a rich data set from Austria providing comprehensive information on various types of health care costs and day-by-day work history at the individual level. Our central findings are: (i) overall expenditures on medical treatments (hospitalizations, drug prescriptions, doctor visits) are not strongly aected by job displacement; (ii) job loss increases expenditures for antidepressants and related drugs, as well as for hospitalizations due to mental health problems for men (but not for women); and (iii) sickness benefits strongly increase due to job loss.
    Keywords: Social cost of unemployment, health, job loss, plant closure
    JEL: I12 I19 J28 J65
    Date: 2009–08
  3. By: Andreas Kuhn
    Abstract: This paper presents a simple conceptual framework intended for describing individuals' subjective evaluations of occupational wage inequality and their demand for redistribution. Most importantly, the framework explicitly allows for the distinction between individuals' perceptions and their normative beliefs. I illustrate the framework using Swiss survey data from the International Social Survey Program. While most individuals accept quite large wage differentials across occupations, they also prefer a lower level of overall wage inequality than what they perceive to exist. Consistent with previous evidence, the empirical analysis also shows that financial self-interest, social norms about distributive justice and perceptions of how wages are determined in reality all simultaneously influence the demand for redistribution. Finally, I show that subjective inequality measures and the demand for redistribution are substantially significant predictors of both individuals' support for government intervention and their party identification. This result provides indirect evidence on the presumed link between perceptions and beliefs on the one hand and and political outcomes on the other hand.
    Keywords: Subjective inequality measures, demand for redistribution, distributive justice, party identification, support for the welfare state
    JEL: D3 D63 H1
    Date: 2009–08

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