nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒03‒06
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Obesity and Happiness By Marina-Selini Katsaiti
  2. Social Capital, Poverty and Social Exclusion in Italy By Luca Andriani; Dimitrios Karyampas
  3. Handedness, Health and Cognitive Development: Evidence from Children in the NLSY By Johnston, David W.; Nicholls, Michael E. R.; Shah, Manisha; Shields, Michael A.
  4. Part-time Jobs: What Women Want? By Booth, A.L.; Ours, J.C. van

  1. By: Marina-Selini Katsaiti
    Abstract: This paper provides insight on the relationship between obesity and happiness. Using the latest available cross sectional data from Germany (GSOEP 2006), UK (BHPS 2005), and Australia (HILDA 2007). We examine whether there is evidence on the impact of overweight on subjective well being. The Hausman test is employed in the univariate and multivariate specifications chosen and reveals evidence for the presence of endogeneity in the German and the Australian data. Instrumental variable analysis is performed under the presence of endogeneity whereas for the UK we run OLS regressions. Results indicate that in all three countries obesity has a negative and significant effect on the subjective well being of individuals. For Germany, using a differences-in-differences methodology, I find that non-overweight/non-obese individuals are on average 0.5 units happier than their overweight/obese counterparts. Our findings also have important implications for the effect of other socio-demographic, economic and individual characteristics on well being.
    Keywords: Happiness, obesity, instrumental variable analysis, subjective well-being
    JEL: D60 I31
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp270&r=hap
  2. By: Luca Andriani (Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck); Dimitrios Karyampas (Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics, Birkbeck)
    Abstract: The paper investigates whether social capital can affect the standard living of the Italian households based on poverty and social exclusion. The analysis is developed at the regional level through cross-sections based in the year 2002 and in the year 2003. The indices of social capital that we use are the associational activity a la Putnam and a new proxy based on the regional density of industrial districts. By using the empirical model advanced by Grootaert (2001) we find that our results confirm the theory of social capital and poverty transition mechanism advanced by Narayan and Woolcock (2000). Moreover we find significant and negative correlation between social capital and the measures of social exclusion. All these results, drive the paper to the conclusion that social capital is positively correlated to higher level of living standard.
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bbk:bbkefp:1005&r=hap
  3. By: Johnston, David W. (Queensland University of Technology); Nicholls, Michael E. R. (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Shah, Manisha (University of California, Irvine); Shields, Michael A. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: Using data from the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and fitting family fixed-effects models of child health and cognitive development, we test if left-handed children do significantly worse than their right-handed counterparts. The health measures cover both physical and mental health, and the cognitive development test scores span (1) Memory, (2) Vocabulary, (3) Mathematics, (4) Reading and (5) Comprehension. We find that while left-handed children have a significantly higher probability of suffering an injury needing medical attention, there is no difference in their experience of illness or poor mental health. We also find that left-handed children have significantly lower cognitive development test scores than right-handed children for all areas of development with the exception of reading. Moreover, the left-handedness disadvantage is larger for boys than girls, and remains roughly constant as children grow older for most outcomes. We also find that the probability of a child being left-handed is not related to the socioeconomic characteristics of the family, such as income or maternal education. All these results tend to support a difference in brain functioning or neurological explanation for handedness differentials rather than one based on left-handed children living in a right-handed world.
    Keywords: handedness, children, health, cognitive development, family fixed-effects
    JEL: I12 J10
    Date: 2010–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4774&r=hap
  4. By: Booth, A.L.; Ours, J.C. van (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Part-time jobs are popular among partnered women in many countries. In the Netherlands the majority of partnered working women have a part-time job. Our paper investigates, from a supply-side perspective, if the current situation of abundant part-time work in the Netherlands is likely to be a transitional phase that will culminate in many women working full-time. We analyze the relationship between part-time work and life satisfaction, and between job satisfaction and preferred working hours using panel data on life and job satisfaction for a sample of partnered women and men. We also utilize time-use data to consider the distribution within the household of market work and housework, and discuss the work specialization hypothesis in this context. Our main results indicate that partnered women in part-time work have high levels of job satisfaction, a low desire to change their working hours, and live in partnerships in which household production is highly gendered. Taken together, our results suggest that part-time jobs are what most Dutch women want.
    Keywords: part-time work;happiness;satisfaction;working hours;gender.
    JEL: J22 I31 J16
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dgr:kubcen:201005&r=hap

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