New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒07‒10
five papers chosen by

  1. Happy House: Spousal weight and individual well-being By Clark, A.;; Etilé, F.;
  2. Spatial Comparisons of Poverty and Inequality in Living Standards in Malawi By Mussa, Richard
  3. Shadow Economy and Poverty By Nikopour , Hesam; Shah Habibullah, Muzafar
  4. The Relationship Between the Effects of a Wife’s Education on her Husband’s Earnings and her Labor Participation: Japan in the period 2000 -2003 By Yamamura, Eiji; Mano, Yukichi
  5. Some Unexplored Economics of Roaming Child Workers By Amit , Kundu; Anwesha, Das

  1. By: Clark, A.;; Etilé, F.;
    Abstract: We use life satisfaction and Body Mass Index (BMI) information from three waves of the GSOEP to test for social interactions in BMI between spouses. Semi-parametric regressions show that partner’s BMI is, beyond a certain level, negatively correlated with own satisfaction. Own BMI is positively correlated with satisfaction in thin men, and negatively correlated with satisfaction after some threshold. Critically, this latter threshold increases with partner’s BMI when the individual is overweight. The negative well-being impact of own BMI is thus lower when the individual’s partner is heavier. This is consistent with social contagion effects in weight. However, this cross-partial effect is insignificant in instrumental variable regressions, suggesting that the uninstrumented relationship reflects selection on the marriage market or omitted variables, rather than contagion.
    Keywords: Obesity; subjective well-being; BMI; social interactions
    JEL: C14 I12 I3
    Date: 2010–06
  2. By: Mussa, Richard
    Abstract: The paper looks at poverty and inequality across areas in Malawi. The focus is on both monetary (consumption) and non monetary (health and education) dimensions of well being. Stochastic poverty dominance tests show that rural areas are poorer in the three dimensions regardless of poverty line chosen. Stochastic inequality dominance tests find that the north and south dominate the centre in health inequality, and there is no dominance between the north and south. With respect to education inequality, dominance is declared for the south-centre pair only. A sub group decomposition analysis finds that the south contributes the most to consumption and education poverty while the centre is the largest contributor to health poverty. We establish that within area inequalities (vertical inequalities) rather than between area inequalities (horizontal inequalities) are the major driver of consumption, health, and education inequality in Malawi.
    Keywords: Poverty; inequality; stochastic dominance; decomposition; Malawi.
    JEL: D30
    Date: 2010–06–26
  3. By: Nikopour , Hesam; Shah Habibullah, Muzafar
    Abstract: This study attempts to investigate the relationship between shadow economy and poverty by explaining the mechanism through which shadow economy affects poverty via its impact on government size and economic growth, and using the human poverty index (HPI) for developing and developed countries. In order to achieve this objective, the three-way interaction model is utilized using data of 139 developing and 23 developed countries separately during 1999-2007. For developing countries the dynamic panel system GMM and for developed countries, the fixed and random effects method of estimation is used. The results suggest that increasing the shadow economy leads to increase poverty in developing countries while it decreases poverty in developed countries.
    Keywords: Shadow economy; Poverty; Panel data analysis
    JEL: O17 C23 I3
    Date: 2010–06–05
  4. By: Yamamura, Eiji; Mano, Yukichi
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of a wife’s human capital on her husband’s earnings, using individual-level data for Japan in the period 2000?2003. We find a positive association between a wife’s education and her husband’s earnings, which can be attributed to the assortative mating effect as well as the positive effect of an educated wife on her husband’s productivity. We divide the sample into those couples with non-working wives and those with working wives, and also employ an estimation strategy proposed by Jepsen (2005), attempting to control for the assortative mating effect. Our regression analysis provides suggestive evidence that educated wives increase their husbands’ productivity and earnings only when they are non-workers and have sufficient time to support their husbands. (120 words)
    Keywords: earnings, human capital, marriage, the family, assortative mating, cross-productivity effect within marriage.
    JEL: J24 J12
    Date: 2010–06–25
  5. By: Amit , Kundu; Anwesha, Das
    Abstract: Within the net of child labour, there is a section of children who live their lives on the streets, without any kind of attachment with their family and maintain their livelihood through working as informal child workers. This study is based on these children who are termed here as ‘Roaming child workers’. It came out that apart from poverty of the parents there are other socio-economic reasons which force a child to come out from the family and work as child worker in the urban areas. It also came out from field survey that after leaving home a good number of children are economically better off and even able to keep themselves above the poverty line. But still they are very vulnerable. Through this study, effort has been made to prove that average monthly expenditure on substances of these ‘Roaming working children’ increases at a decreasing rate with their average monthly income, whereas, average monthly expenditure on entertainment shares a linear relationship with average monthly income.
    Keywords: Child Labour; Poverty and Consumption Pattern
    JEL: I31 I32
    Date: 2010–01–07

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