nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒05‒08
two papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Provision of Relative Performance Feedback Information: An Experimental Analysis of Performance and Happiness By Ghazala Azmat; Nagore Iriberri
  2. Differences in Quality of Life Estimates Using Rents and Home Values By Winters, John V

  1. By: Ghazala Azmat; Nagore Iriberri
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of providing relative performance feedback information on individual performance and on individual affective response, when agents are rewarded according to their absolute performance. In a laboratory set-up, agents perform a real effort task and when receiving feedback, they are asked to rate their happiness, arousal and feeling of dominance. Control subjects learn only their absolute performance, while the treated subjects additionally learn the average performance in the session. Performance is 17 percent higher when relative performance feedback is provided. Furthermore, although feedback increases the performance independent of the content (i.e., performing above or below the average), the content is determinant for the affective response. When subjects are treated, the inequality in the happiness and the feeling of dominance between those subjects performing above and below the average increases by 8 and 6 percentage points, respectively.
    Keywords: relative performance, piece-rate, feedback, social comparison, happiness.
    JEL: I21 M52 C30
    Date: 2010–04
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:upf:upfgen:1216&r=hap
  2. By: Winters, John V
    Abstract: Implicit values of amenities and the quality of life in an area can be measured by differences in “real wages” across areas, where real wages are computed as nominal wages adjusted for the cost of living. Computing cost of living differences involves several important issues, most important being how housing prices should be measured. Previous researchers typically have used some combination of rental payments and homeowner housing values. This paper examines differences in quality of life estimates for U.S. metropolitan areas using, alternatively, rents and housing values. We find that the two measures of quality of life are highly correlated. Value-based estimates, however, are considerably more dispersed than rent-based estimates, likely because of the recent bubble in the housing market and because housing values often provide an imperfect measure of the present user cost of housing. Researchers should be cautious in using housing values to construct quality of life estimates.
    Keywords: quality of life; amenities; rents; housing; wages
    JEL: R13 R21 R23
    Date: 2010–04–15
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:22455&r=hap

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