New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2009‒10‒31
five papers chosen by

  1. Crime and Happiness Amongst Heads of Households in Malawi By Davies, Simon; Hinks, Timothy
  2. Job Satisfaction and Employment Equity in South Africa By Hinks, Timothy
  3. Poverty, education and employment in the Arab-Bedouin society: A comparative view By Suleiman Abu-Bader; Daniel Gottlieb
  4. Cheaper Child Care, More Children By Eva Mörk; Anna Sjögren; Helena Svaleryd
  5. Growth and Keeping up with the Joneses By Wendner, Ronald

  1. By: Davies, Simon; Hinks, Timothy
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Hinks, Timothy
    Abstract: This paper is the first to estimate job satisfaction equations in post-Apartheid South Africa. Earnings and relative earnings are both found to contribute to greater job satisfaction. Racial group is also an important predictor of job satisfaction but when interacted with a proxy for affirmative action legislation it is found that black job satisfaction is positively correlated with this legislation whereas coloured and to a lesser extent white job satisfaction is diminished.
    Keywords: Job satisfaction; Employment Equity; ordered probit; South Africa
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Suleiman Abu-Bader (Ben-Gurion University and Center for Research and Regional Development of the Negev); Daniel Gottlieb (Research and Planning Administration, National Insurance Institute and Ben-Gurion University)
    Abstract: The socio-economic situation of the Arab-Bedouin population in the Negev is examined in light of the general Israeli Arab population. Based on the Galilee Society's social survey for 2004 Israeli Arab poverty incidence was found to be 52% with nearly two thirds in persistent poverty. Among Bedouins in villages unrecognized by the Israeli government it was nearly 80% with poverty severity about 7 times higher than that of the mainstream Jewish population in Israel, i.e. excluding the – predominantly poor – Jewish ultra-orthodox society. Poverty was calculated according to various definitions. Similarly to international evidence, we found that education, age, family size, employment and occupation of the household head and the number of income earners in the family are important determinants of the probability to be poor. Arab women's student enrollment rates over different generations improved considerably, reducing the education-gap compared to Arab men. Bedouin households, especially in non-recognized villages, were found to have much less access to infrastructure compared to other Arabs, thus forming a significant barrier to women’s participation in the labor force. This also had an adverse indirect effect toward the completion of schooling, thus keeping mothers’ fertility relatively high and reducing education's potentially diminishing effect on poverty. A considerable mismatch between skills and employment was found among Arab academics, thus hinting at discrimination and segregation in their labor market. Considering the various mentioned transmission mechanisms it seems that government intervention in infrastructure may yield a high social return and help interrupt the vicious circle of poverty.
    Keywords: Bedouin, Ethnic groups, Israel, poverty, basic needs, relative poverty, food-energy-intake, infrastructure, fertility, education, school-dropout, employment.
    JEL: H54 I21 I32 J13 O12 O15 O18
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Eva Mörk (IFAU and Uppsala University); Anna Sjögren (IFAU); Helena Svaleryd (IFN)
    Abstract: We study the effect of child care costs on the fertility behavior of Swedish women and find that reductions in child care charges influence fertility decisions, even when costs are initially highly subsidized. Exploiting the exogenous variation in child care costs caused by a Swedish child care reform, we are able to identify the causal effect of child care costs on fertility in a context in which child care enrolment is almost universal and the labor force participation of mothers is very high. A typical household planning another child experienced a reduction in expected future child care costs of SEK 106,000 (USD 17,800). This reduction resulted in 3–5 more child births per 1,000 women during an 18 month period, which corresponds to a 4–6 per cent increase in the birth rate.
    Keywords: Child Care, Cost of children, Fertility, Quasi-experiment, Difference-in-differences.
    JEL: H31 J13
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Wendner, Ronald
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of the desire to keep up with the Joneses (KUJ) on economic growth and optimal tax policy in a continuous time overlapping generations model with AK technology and gradual retirement. Due to the desire to KUJ, the propensity to consume out of total wealth rises (declines), and the balanced growth rate declines (increases) when the households' individual total (accumulated \emph{and} human) wealths are increasing (decreasing) with age. The rate of retirement determines whether or not a household's total wealth is increasing with age. If total wealth is increasing/decreasing with age, an optimal allocation is decentralized by a lump sum tax system that is progressive/regressive in age. The desire to KUJ strengthens the intergenerational regressivity (progressivity) of the optimal tax system.
    Keywords: Keeping up with the Joneses; AK growth; overlapping generations; gradual retirement; optimal taxation
    JEL: D91 O40 E21
    Date: 2009–10–19

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