nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒06‒18
six papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Childbearing History, Later Life Health, and Mortality in Germany By Karsten Hank
  2. Alternative Indicators to GDP: Values behind Numbers. Adjusted Net Savings in Question By GŽraldine THIRY; Isabelle CASSIERS
  3. Entrepreneurship and Human Development: A Capability Approach By Gries,Thomas; Naudé, Wim
  4. Social Capital and State-Civil Society Relations in Singapore By Tan Tay Keong
  5. Child Welfare in Albania Using a Collective Approach By Lucia Mangiavacchi; Federico Perali; Luca Piccoli
  6. Religiosity and Personal Well-Being: People Can Be Happy With or Without Religion By Matthias Opfinger

  1. By: Karsten Hank
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we investigated the role of childbearing history in later life health and mortality, paying particular attention to possible differences by sex and region. Higher parity is associated with better self-rated health in Western German mothers and fathers aged 50+, but its relationship with Eastern German women’s physical health and survival is negative. Early motherhood is paralleled by poorer physical health in West Germany, whereas late motherhood is associated with lower psychological well-being in East Germany. Moreover, among Western German women, having had a non-marital first birth is weakly correlated with lower physical health. Our findings support the notion of biosocial pathways playing an important role in shaping the fertility-health-nexus. Specifically, the Western German ‘male breadwinner’ model of specialisation appears to have buffered the stresses associated with childrearing, whereas fertility off the ‘normative’ life course track supposedly had adverse effects on women’s health in West Germany.
    Keywords: reproductive history; health; mortality; life course; SOEP
    Date: 2010
  2. By: GŽraldine THIRY (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Isabelle CASSIERS (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) and FNRS)
    Abstract: After sixty years of predominance in the western countries, both the objective of economic growth and its core measure, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), have been questioned. It no longer seems consistent to maintain growth as a societal goal and to keep GDP as the major reference for socioeconomic policies. Numerous alternative indicators have been suggested. These new indicators potentially constitute a great opportunity for change: it is now broadly accepted that what we measure affects what we do. We go a step further, claiming that the way we measure it is just as crucial: indicators intrinsically carry axiological and normative conceptions, embedded in the specific way they are built. As indicators are increasingly being used for shaping political ends, light should be shed on these underlying conceptions. Our analysis of the Adjusted Net Savings (ANS, the sustainability indicator proposed by the World Bank) attempts to illustrate these normative underpinning, often obscured by technical concerns around the numbers. By systematically deconstructing the ANS, from its conceptual framework to its sub-dimensions, we shed light on the singular and debatable conception of ÔsustainabilityÕ (in its human and ecological aspects) encompassed in the ANS. This exercise aims to provide an insight into the societal values embedded in such indicators, which can strongly influence decision-making.
    Keywords: Beyond GDP, Indicators, Adjusted Net Savings, Sustainable Development, Epistemology of Statistics
    JEL: A13 B4 B5 Q01 Q51
    Date: 2010–05–12
  3. By: Gries,Thomas; Naudé, Wim
    Abstract: We provide a formal model of entrepreneurship in human development. The framework is provided by the capabilities approach (CA). Hence we extend not only the conceptualisation of entrepreneurship in development, but the reach of the CA into entrepreneurship. From a CA view, entrepreneurship is not only a production factor, or a means to an end, as is often taken to be the case by economists, but also an end in itself. Entrepreneurship can be a human functioning and can contribute towards expanding the set of human capabilities through being both a resource and a process. Our model shows, however, that entrepreneurship is not automatically a functioning. Where it is a necessity it stops being a valued functioning. The model also shows that even when entrepreneurship is valued, entrepreneurs may often not match their ideas with suitable opportunities. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: capability approach, entrepreneurship, human development
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Tan Tay Keong
    Abstract: This paper shows that the realization of Singapore’s vision of “active citizenship†and “state-society partnershipâ€, to a significant extent, depends on how social capital is being created and renewed in Singapore’s evolving political landscape.[Working Paper 9]
    Keywords: Singapore, vision, active citizenship, state-society, partnership, social capital, renewed, political landscape
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Lucia Mangiavacchi (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Federico Perali (Università di Verona); Luca Piccoli (Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Abstract: The present article aims at contributing to the literature on children welfare evaluation by taking into account intra-household distribution of resources and, as a consequence, intra-household inequality. This task cannot be accomplished within the standard framework of unitary models of consumption, and equivalence scales help only partially, since their scope is different. To investigate what happens within the family's black box, a collective consumption model is estimated and the predicted sharing rule is used to draw some conclusions about the role played by intra-household inequality for children's welfare in Albania. The model is also used to look at the effects that different public policies can have on child welfare. The results show that taking into account intra-household inequality raises the Gini coefficient of children's welfare by nearly 10 percentage points and in-kind transfers are more effective than cash transfers in improving children's wellbeing.
    Keywords: Child welfare, intra-household inequality, collective models, sharing rule, Albania
    JEL: D13 H31 I32 O15
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Matthias Opfinger
    Abstract: Despite all economic and social transitions that have occurred in the last centuries we still find that people go to church. Somehow religious beliefs have not vanished over time. Since there is no material reward for going to church or praying religiosity has to create utility through other means. It could raise peoples' personal well-being. In this paper we use information from the World Values Survey about subjective happiness and life satisfaction. We relate this information to revealed religiosity and measure if religiosity makes people happier. We use different methods and also control for economic factors, family matters, health, and democracy. The key finding is that there seems to be a U-shaped relationship between personal well-being and religiosity, especially so for happiness. This result is consistent throughout all our estimations. Our analysis also gives hints that higher income might lead to higher subjective well-being
    Keywords: personal well-being, happiness,life satisfaction, religiosity, U-shaped relationship
    Date: 2010–05

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