nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒01‒30
nine papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Economic Crisis through the Lens of Economic Wellbeing By Andrew Sharpe; Jean-François Arsenault
  2. Well-Being, Preference Formation and the Danger of Paternalism By Mozaffar Qizilbash
  3. Inheritances, Health and Death By Beomsoo Kim; Christopher J. Ruhm
  4. Homeostasis and Well Being By Malcolm Dowling; Yap Chin-Fang
  5. The Coevolution of Economic and Political Development from Monarchy to Democracy By Fali Huang
  6. Human Resource Development and Poverty in the Philippines By Le Thi Ai Lam
  7. Are Maternal and Child Care Programs Reaching the Poorest Regions in the Philippines? By Rouselle F. Lavado; Leizel P. Lagrada
  8. Objective Measures of Family Welfare for Individual Targeting- Results from Pilot Project on Community Based Monitoring System in Indonesia By Daniel Suryadarma; Akhmadi; Hastuti; Nina Toyamah
  9. The Effects of Parental Death and Chronic Poverty on Children’s Education and Health- Evidence from Indonesia By Daniel Suryadarma; Yus Medina Pakpahan; Asep Suryahadi

  1. By: Andrew Sharpe; Jean-François Arsenault
    Abstract: This report looks at how the economic crisis has unfolded in Canada and what will be the impacts on economic wellbeing. The shortfall is estimated to be approximately $12,000 ($2007) per capita. In other words, given no economic crisis, GDP per capita in Canada would have likely been $1,736 higher on average each year over the 2008-2014 period. Between October 2008 – the month at which employment peaked in Canada – and May 2009, net employment fell by 362,500 persons. The negative effects of unemployment go well beyond loss of income. Roughly 60 per cent of the newly unemployed, compared to about 40 per cent in recent years, receive regular EI benefits, reflecting the concentration of employment losses among long term full-time employees (e.g. auto workers). Based on the experience of the recession of the early 1990s, we should expect an increase of about 4 percentage points in the after-tax poverty rate, which would reach 13.2 per cent in 2010.
    Keywords: Living standards, quality of life, income, housing affordability, wealth, inequality, poverty, net worth, income, disposable income, low income, labour market, economic security, employment, unemployment, economics crisis
    JEL: D63 D60 D30 D31 J30 R20
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Mozaffar Qizilbash
    Abstract: Informed or rational desire, capability and prudential value list views of well-being - must accommodate human limitations, as well as address issues about adaptation and paternalism. They sometimes address adaptation by toughening the requirement(s) on those desires, satisfaction of which constitutes well-being. That exacerbates a concern that these accounts if adopted will encourage policies which override actual desires and enforce paternalistic restrictions. Sunstein, like Sen, invokes democratic deliberation to address the adaptation problem, and advocates autonomy promoting paternalistic restrictions. Sunstein and Thaler's 'libertarian paternalism' extends this flavour of argument to cover examples of irrationality from behavioural economics. Their variation of the informed desire account involves highly idealized preferences which cannot, in practical terms, guide a paternalistic social planner, but lead to a potentially large range of cases where paternalistic intervention might, in principle, be justified. I argue that the liberal paternalist policy agenda should as currently conceived be resisted.
    Keywords: Length 31 pages
    Date: 2009–12
  3. By: Beomsoo Kim (Department of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, South Korea); Christopher J. Ruhm (University of North Carolina Greensboro and National Bureau of Economic Research)
    Abstract: We examine how wealth shocks, in the form of inheritances, affect the mortality rates, health status and health behaviors of older adults, using data from eight waves of the Health and Retirement Survey (HRS). Our main finding is that bequests do not have substantial effects on health status, although some improvements in quality-of-life are possible. This absence occurs despite increases in out-of-pocket (OOP) spending on health care and in the utilization of medical services, especially discretionary and non-lifesaving types such as dental care. Nor can we find a convincing indication of changes in lifestyles that offset the benefits of increased medical care. Inheritances are associated with higher alcohol consumption, but with no change in smoking or exercise and a possible decrease in obesity.
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Malcolm Dowling; Yap Chin-Fang (Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: The paper suggests that maintenance of a homeostatic equilibrium provides a rationale for many actions of economic agents. Homeostatic equilibrium has physical, economic, emotional, psychological and environmental dimensions. The characteristics of this equilibrium include feelings of safety, trust, connectedness with friends, family and community, and a predictable and welcoming social and work environment. Individuals generally make decisions that help them move toward and achieve this state of equilibrium. Departure from homeostasis reduces well being and stimulates agents to take actions that will return them to a state of homeostasis. This hypothesis is tested with probit analysis using sample responses from the four waves of the World Values Surveys conducted between 1980 and 2002. Results generally support the homeostasis hypothesis. Variables that reflect departure from homeostasis such as divorce and poor health are highly significant, pointing to a reduction in well being. Variables that reflect the importance of friends, family, a trusting social and work environment have significant impacts to raise well being.
    Keywords: Homeostatic equilibrium, development
    JEL: I3
    Date: 2010–01
  5. By: Fali Huang (Singapore Management University)
    Abstract: This paper establishes a simple model of long run economic and political development, which is driven by the inherent technical features of di¤erent production factors and the political con.icts among factor owners on how to divide the outputs. The main production factor in economy evolves from land to physical capital and then to human capital, which enables their respective owners (landlords, capitalists, and workers) to gain political power in the same sequence, shaping the political development path from monarchy to oligarchy and .nally to democracy with full su¤rage. When it is too costly for any group of factor owners to repress others, political compromise is reached and economic progress is not blocked; otherwise, the political con.icts may lead to economic stagnation.
    Keywords: Economic Development, Political Development, Democratization, Class Structure, Land, Physical Capital, Human Capital, Monarchy, Oligarchy, Democracy, Su¤rage Extension
    JEL: O10 O40 P16 N10
    Date: 2010–01
  6. By: Le Thi Ai Lam (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: In the last twenty years, the Philippines has gained a good progress in poverty reduction. However, compared to other countries in the region, the Philippines is still behind. In the early years of the 21st century, more than a third of the Philippine population lives below the poverty line. With landless status, the poor depended largely on labor with its embedded educational capital. However, in education, the rich and the poor are separated by two different educational divisions--private and public--and of high quality and low-quality education. Poor children encounter lack of access to quality education due to a high dropping out rate at an early age and going to public schools that offer low quality education. The lack of access to quality education has affected the poor more severely when there was poor job generation, relative deterioration of unskilled labor situation, and low rate of return on education at basic levels. The poor faced high rate of underemployment and low income. The government is aware of the educational lack of the poor, but there are a number of factors that prevent the poor having access to quality education. To an extent, government spending policies on education was not geared toward pro-poor. Furthermore, opportunity costs and their unfavorable outcomes in labor markets prevent further improvements of early and high dropout rate of the poor as a result of weaknesses in policy implementation.
    Keywords: poverty, education, human resource development, labor, Philippines
    JEL: I32 O15 J20
    Date: 2010–01
  7. By: Rouselle F. Lavado; Leizel P. Lagrada (Philippine Institute for Development Studies)
    Abstract: While the national average for maternal and child health services utilization shows improvement, the Philippines is yet to achieve the MDG targets for maternal and child health. This study shows inequality in maternal and child health services utilization across economic classes and across regions. Moreover, based on regional Gini coefficient, there are various patterns of utilization and concentration of services across living standards. Interventions to increase the uptake of maternal and child health services based on these patterns are recommended.
    Keywords: maternal and child care, utilization, access, inequality
    JEL: H41 I10
    Date: 2010–01
  8. By: Daniel Suryadarma; Akhmadi; Hastuti; Nina Toyamah (SMERU Research Institute)
    Abstract: This report documents the results of a pilot project on a new poverty monitoring system that improves the current system in three areas. First, it involves the locals in monitoring poverty in their own area. Second, the poverty indicators are sensitive to local conditions, accurate, and cannot be easily tampered. Third, the results are expeditious, with only five months needed between the start of data collection to final publication. Given Indonesia's geographical size and the decentralization that puts more power at the hands of the district governments in determining poverty alleviation programs, we believe that this monitoring system is the most suitable for Indonesia.
    Keywords: poverty, poverty monitoring system, Indonesia
    JEL: I32 I38 I30
    Date: 2010–01
  9. By: Daniel Suryadarma; Yus Medina Pakpahan; Asep Suryahadi (SMERU Research Institute)
    Abstract: Using a sufficiently long-spanning longitudinal dataset, we estimate the short and long term effects of maternal and paternal death on children’s school enrollment, educational attainment, and health in Indonesia, then compare them to the effect of chronic poverty. We also investigate whether there are any gender dimensions in the effects. We find that young maternal orphans have worse educational outcomes than non-orphans, with the effect getting worse over time. However, we find no significant effect of orphanhood on health. However, chronically poor children have worse health and education outcomes. Among young children, the effect of maternal orphanhood on education is significantly more adverse than that of chronic poverty. Finally, chronically poor orphans do not suffer adverse effects beyond the effects of chronic poverty.
    Keywords: orphanhood, chronic poverty, education, health, children, Indonesia
    JEL: I10 I21 I31
    Date: 2010–01

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