nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒04‒04
thirteen papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Late-Life Decline in Well-Being across Adulthood in Germnay, the UK, and the US: Something is Seriously Wrong at the End of Life By Denis Gerstorf; Nilam Ram; Guy Mayraz; Mira Hidajat; Ulman Lindenberger; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
  2. Perceived Job Insecurity and Well-Being Revisited: Towards Conceptual Clarity By Ingo Geishecker
  3. Parsing the Urban Poverty Puzzle A Multi-generational Panel Study in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas, 1968–2008 By Perlman, Janice E.
  4. The Face of Urban Poverty Explaining the Prevalence of Slums in Developing Countries By Arimah, C. Ben
  5. Urban Violence Is not (Necessarily) a Way of Life By Rodgers, Dennis
  6. Multidimensional Measurement of Richness: Theory and an Application to Germany By Peichl, Andreas; Pestel, Nico
  7. Is There an Income Gradient in Child Health? It Depends Whom You Ask By Johnston, David W.; Propper, Carol; Pudney, Stephen; Shields, Michael A.
  8. Inequality Trends for Germany in the Last Two Decades: A Tale of Two Countries By Dirk Krüger
  9. The effect of compulsory schooling on health - evidence from biomarkers By Hendrik Jürges
  10. Is there an Income Gradient in Child Health? It depends whom you ask By David W. Johnston; Carol Propper; Stephen E. Pudney; Michael A. Shields
  11. Child Poverty and Child Well-Being in Italy By Del Boca Daniela
  12. The importance of consecutive spells of poverty: a longitudinal poverty index By Mendola, Daria; Busetta, Annalisa; Milito, Anna Maria
  13. Promoting the Well-Being of Immigrant Youth By Brian Nolan

  1. By: Denis Gerstorf; Nilam Ram; Guy Mayraz; Mira Hidajat; Ulman Lindenberger; Gert G. Wagner; Jürgen Schupp
    Abstract: Throughout adulthood and old age, levels of well-being appear to remain relatively stable. However, evidence is emerging that late in life well-being declines considerably. Using long-term longitudinal data of deceased participants in national samples from Germany, the UK, and the US, we examine how long this period lasts. In all three nations and across the adult age range, well-being was relatively stable over age, but declined rapidly with impending death. Articulating notions of terminal decline associated with impending death, we identified prototypical transition points in each study between three and five years prior to death, after which normative rates of decline steepened by a factor of three or more. The findings suggest that mortality-related mechanisms drive late-life changes in well-being and highlight the need for further refinement of psychological concepts about how and when late-life declines in psychosocial functioning prototypically begin.
    Keywords: Selective mortality, successful aging, differential aging, psychosocial factors, well-being, multiphase growth model
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp286&r=hap
  2. By: Ingo Geishecker
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of job insecurity perceptions on individual well-being. In contrast to previous studies, we explicitly take into account perceptions about both the likelihood and the potential costs of job loss and demonstrate that most contributions to the literature suffer from simultaneity bias. When accounting for simultaneity, we find the true unbiased effect of perceived job insecurity to be more than twice the size of naive estimates. Accordingly, perceived job insecurity ranks as one of the most important factors in employees' well-being and can be even more harmful than actual job loss with subsequent unemployment.
    Keywords: job security, life satisfaction, unemployment
    JEL: D84 J63 Z13
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp282&r=hap
  3. By: Perlman, Janice E.
    Abstract: This paper describes the methodology of a longitudinal multi-generational study in the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro from 1968 to 2008. Major political transformations took place in Brazil during this interval: from dictatorship to ‘opening’ to democracy; major economic transformations from ‘miracle’ boom to hyperinflation and crisis, and to relative stability; and major policy changes from the removal of favelas to their upgrading and integration. However, despite the cumulative effects of these contextual changes, poverty programmes and community efforts, the favela population has continued to grow faster than the rest of the city and the number and size of the favelas has consistently increased over these decades.
    Keywords: urbanization, Brazil, poverty, community, slums
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-27&r=hap
  4. By: Arimah, C. Ben
    Abstract: One of the most visible and enduring manifestations of urban poverty in developing countries is the formation and proliferation of slums. While attention has focused on the rapid pace of urbanization as the sole or major factor explaining the proliferation of slums and squatter settlements in developing countries, there are other factors whose impacts are not known with much degree of certainty. It is also not clear how the effects of these factors vary across regions of the developing world. This paper accounts for differences in the prevalence of slums among developing countries using data drawn from the recent global assessment of slums undertaken by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. The empirical analysis identifies substantial inter-country variations in the incidence of slums both within and across the regions of Africa, Asia as well as, Latin America and the Caribbean. Further analysis indicates that higher GDP
    Keywords: urban poverty, slums, developing countries, inter-country differences
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-30&r=hap
  5. By: Rodgers, Dennis
    Abstract: As the world moves towards its so-called urban ‘tipping point’, urbanization in the global South has increasingly come to be portrayed as the portent of a dystopian future characterized by ever-mounting levels of anarchy and brutality. The association between cities, violence, and disorder is not new, however. In a classic article on ‘Urbanism as a way of life’, Louis Wirth (1938: 23) famously links cities to ‘personal disorganization, mental breakdown, suicide, delinquency, crime, corruption, and disorder’. He does so on the grounds that the urban context constituted a space that naturally generated particular forms of social organization and collective action as a result of three key attributes: population size, density, and heterogeneity. Large numbers lead to a segmentation of human relations, the pre-eminence of secondary over primary social contact, and a utilitarianization of interpersonal relationships. Density produces increased competition, accelerates specialization, and engenders glaring contrasts that accentuate social friction. Heterogeneity induces more ramified and differentiated forms of social stratification, heightened individual mobility, and increased social fluidity. While large numbers, density, and heterogeneity can plausibly be considered universal features of cities, it is much less obvious that they necessarily lead to urban violence. This is a standpoint that is further reinforced by the fact that not all cities around the world – whether rapidly urbanizing or not – are violent, and taking off from Wirth’s characterization of the city, this paper therefore seeks to understand how and why under certain circumstances compact settlements of large numbers of heterogeneous individuals give rise to violence, while in others they don’t, focusing in particular on wider structural factors as seen through the specific lens of urban gang violence.
    Keywords: urbanism, violence, gangs, Chicago School of Sociology, Wirth
    Date: 2010
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2010-20&r=hap
  6. By: Peichl, Andreas (IZA); Pestel, Nico (IZA)
    Abstract: Closely following recent innovations in the literature on the multidimensional measurement of poverty, this paper provides similar measures for the top of the distribution using a dual cutoff method to identify individuals, who can be considered as rich in a multidimensional setting. We use this framework to analyze the role of wealth, health and education, in addition to income, as dimensions of multidimensional well-being in Germany. Our analysis shows that more than half of the German population is affluent in at least one dimension and less than 1% is affluent in all four dimensions. The likelihood of being rich in all dimensions is highest for prime-aged males from the West who live in couple households without children. Mobility between different affluence counts between 2002 and 2007 is rather low and existing changes are mostly driven by health and to a lesser extent by wealth.
    Keywords: affluence, multidimensional measurement, mobility, elites
    JEL: D31 D63 I0 I31
    Date: 2010–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4825&r=hap
  7. By: Johnston, David W. (Queensland University of Technology); Propper, Carol (University of Bristol); Pudney, Stephen (ISER, University of Essex); Shields, Michael A. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: A large literature uses parental evaluations of child health status to provide evidence on the socioeconomic determinants of health. If how parents perceive health questions differs by income or education level, then estimates of the socioeconomic gradient are likely to be biased and potentially misleading. In this paper we examine this issue. We directly compare child mental health evaluations from parents, teachers, children and psychiatrists for mental health problems, test whether these differences are systematically related to observable child and parent characteristics, and examine the implications of the different reports for the estimated income gradient. We find that respondents frequently evaluate children differently and while the sign of the income gradient is in the same direction across respondents, systematic differences in evaluations mean that the estimated magnitude and significance of the health-income gradient is highly dependent upon the choice of respondent and the measure of child health.
    Keywords: child health, income, reporting bias
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2010–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4830&r=hap
  8. By: Dirk Krüger (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: In this paper we …rst document inequality trends in wages, hours worked, earnings, consumption, and wealth for Germany from the last twenty years. We generally …nd that inequality was relatively stable inWest Germany until the German uni…cation (which happened politically in 1990 and in our data in 1991), and then trended upwards for wages and market incomes, especially after about 1998. Disposable income and consumption, on the other hand, display only a modest increase in inequality over the same period. These trends occured against the backdrop of lower trend growth of earnings, incomes and consumption in the 1990s relative to the 1980s. In the second part of the paper we further analyze the di¤erences between East and West Germans in terms of the evolution of levels and inequality of wages, income, and consumption.
    JEL: D31 D33 E
    Date: 2009–07–20
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mea:meawpa:09184&r=hap
  9. By: Hendrik Jürges (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: Using data from the Health Survey for England and the English Longitudinal Study on Ageing, we estimate the causal effect of schooling on health. Identification comes from two nation wide increases in British compulsory school leaving age in 1947 and 1973, respectively. Our study complements earlier studies exploiting compulsory schooling laws as source of exogenous variation in schooling by using biomarkers as measures of health outcomes in addition to self-reported measures. We find a strong positive correlation between education and health, both self-rated and measured by blood fibrinogen and C-reactive protein levels. However, we find ambiguous causal effects of schooling on women's self-rated health and insignificant causal effects of schooling on men's self-rated health and biomarker levels in both sexes.
    Keywords: Health, Compulsory schooling, Biomarkers, Regression discontinuity
    JEL: I12 I20
    Date: 2009–07–08
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:mea:meawpa:09183&r=hap
  10. By: David W. Johnston; Carol Propper; Stephen E. Pudney; Michael A. Shields
    Abstract: A large literature uses parental evaluations of child health status to provide evidence on the socioeconomic determinants of health. If how parents perceive health questions differs by income or education level, then estimates of the socioeconomic gradient are likely to be biased and potentially misleading. In this paper we examine this issue. We directly compare child mental health evaluations from parents, teachers, children and psychiatrists for mental health problems, test whether these differences are systematically related to observable child and parent characteristics, and examine the implications of the different reports for the estimated income gradient. We find that respondents frequently evaluate children differently and while the sign of the income gradient is in the same direction across respondents, systematic differences in evaluations mean that the estimated magnitude and significance of the health-income gradient is highly dependent upon the choice of respondent and the measure of child health.
    Keywords: Child Health, Income, Reporting Bias
    JEL: I12 J13
    Date: 2010–03
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:bri:cmpowp:10/232&r=hap
  11. By: Del Boca Daniela (University of Turin)
    Date: 2010–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uto:dipeco:201001&r=hap
  12. By: Mendola, Daria (Department of Quantitative Methods for Human Sciences); Busetta, Annalisa (Department of Quantitative Methods for Human Sciences); Milito, Anna Maria (Department of Quantitative Methods for Human Sciences)
    Abstract: Traditional measures of poverty persistence, such as 'poverty rate' (i.e., the number of years spent in poverty upon the total number of observations) or the 'persistent-risk-of-poverty rate', do not devote enough attention to the sequence of poverty spells. In particular, they are insufficient in underlining the different effects associated with occasional single spells of poverty and the consecutive years of poverty. We propose a new index which measures the severity of poverty, taking into account the way poverty and non-poverty spells follow one another along individual life courses. The index is normalized and increases with the number of consecutive years in poverty along the sequence, while the index decreases when the distance between two years of poverty increases. All the years spent in poverty concur with the measurement of the persistency in poverty but with a decreasing contribution as long as the distance between two years of poverty become longer. A weighted version of the index is also proposed, explicitly taking the distance from the poverty line of poor people into account. Both the indexes are supported by a conceptual framework and characterised via properties and axioms. They are validated according to content, construct and criterion validity assessment and tested on a sample drawn from young European adults participating in European Community Households Panel survey.
    Keywords: longitudinal poverty; index of poverty ; sequences of poverty ; chronic poverty ; validity
    Date: 2009–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:irs:iriswp:2009-21&r=hap
  13. By: Brian Nolan (School of Applied Social Sciences and Geary Institute, UCD)
    Abstract: The well-being of immigrant youth — of the first or second generation — is intimately tied up with their socio-economic status and success; in turn, their success and how immigrant youth relate to the society around them are important elements of social cohesion and well-being for those societies. Institutional settings, in relation to immigrants and to Welfare State structures more broadly, as well as the policies adopted within those settings, vary greatly from one developed country to the next. This opens up the potential for studying key outcomes for immigrant youth in a comparative perspective, and learning about which settings and policies appear to be more versus less effective in promoting their well-being and capitalizing on their potential. This paper sets out a framework for such an analytical exercise, drawing on recent research and monitoring efforts in the related areas of multidimensional well-being, social inclusion/exclusion, and child well-being. It then seeks to place some key findings from the disparate social science research literature on immigration and youth (principally drawing on economics and sociology) within that framework. This serves to bring out both the potential and the difficulties associated with this approach to teasing out “what works” for immigrant youth. In conclusion, the paper points to the major gaps in knowledge and what is required to make progress in learning from disparate country experiences about how best to promote the well-being on immigrant youth.
    Date: 2010–03–15
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201017&r=hap

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