New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒09‒18
seven papers chosen by

  1. Happiness and Financial Satisfaction in Israel: Effects of Religiosity, Ethnicity, and War By van Praag, Bernard M. S.; Romanov, Dmitri; Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada
  2. Bias in the Relative Assessment of Happiness,Political Stance, Height and Weight By Proto, Eugenio; Sgroi, Daniel
  3. Height, Health Human Capital and Quality of Life Among Older Chinese By Asadul Islam; Paul Raschky; Russell Smyth
  4. Children and Parental Health: Evidence from China By Asadul Islam; Russell Smyth
  5. Are Pregnant Women Happier? Racial Differences in the Relationsip Between Pregnancy and Life Satisfaction By Paul, Hagstrom; Stephen, Wu
  6. A Note on Happiness in Eastern Europe By Humpert, Stephan
  7. Macro & micro aspects of the standard of living and quality of life in a small transition economy: The case of Croatia By Dajana Cvrlje; Tomislav Ćorić

  1. By: van Praag, Bernard M. S. (University of Amsterdam); Romanov, Dmitri (Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel); Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada (IAE Barcelona (CSIC))
    Abstract: We analyze individual satisfaction with life as a whole and satisfaction with the personal financial situation for Israeli citizens of Jewish and Arab descent. Our data set is the Israeli Social Survey (2006). We are especially interested in the impact of the religions Judaism, Islam and Christianity, where we are able to differentiate between individuals who vary in religiosity between secular and ultra-orthodox. We find a significant effect of religiosity on happiness. With respect to Jewish families it is most striking that the impact of family size on both life and financial satisfaction seems to vary with religiosity. This might be a reason for differentiation in family equivalence scales. For Arab families we did not find this effect. First-generation immigrants are less happy than second-generation immigrants, while there is no significant difference between second-generation families and native families. The effect of the Lebanon War is much less than expected.
    Keywords: happiness, subjective well-being, financial satisfaction, Israel, religion, immigration, terrorism
    JEL: H56 I31 N35 N45 R23 Z12
    Date: 2010–09
  2. By: Proto, Eugenio (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Sgroi, Daniel (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Cognitive biases have been a recognised feature of research into human behaviour since at least Kahneman and Tversky’s ground-breaking work of the 1970s. We find that such biases extend into the realm of perceptions about relative happiness and we compare and contrast this phenomenon across three other characteristics : height, weight and political stance. Our findings indicate a powerful and consistent bias in the way individuals perceive their place in the population distribution. In particular, those at extremes perceive a population distribution that is incorrectly and heavily biased towards themselves,irrespective of whether the c haracteristic is objective and easily ob served or not. 
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Asadul Islam; Paul Raschky; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: We find that taller people enjoy a higher quality of life at older ages in China. Implications are drawn for investment in health human capital in infancy and adolescence.
    Keywords: China, Height, Well-being
    JEL: I1 J14 O1
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Asadul Islam; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: In most developing countries children provide some form of insurance against risks when parents are old, which, in turn, justifies parental preference to have more children. In this paper, we examine the causal effect of number of children on several measures of health status of elderly parents using newly available China Health and Retirement Survey data. Because number of children in a family is not exogenously determined, we use a natural experiment (variations in China’s one child policy) and preferences for a son to account for exogenous variation in family size. We show that both variation in the one-child policy and having a first born child who is a daughter significantly increase the family size. Overall, our results suggest that having more children has a negative effect on self-reported parental health, but generally no effect on other measures of health. We find no difference between the effect of number of children on maternal and paternal health. We find some evidence that having an adult daughter living at home, or in close geographical proximity, has a positive effect on parental health. The results also suggest that upstream financial transfers have a positive effect on parental health.
    Keywords: Children, Parental Health, China, One-child policy, Sex preference
    JEL: O12 J13 I10
    Date: 2010–05
  5. By: Paul, Hagstrom; Stephen, Wu
    Abstract: This paper uses data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to study the relationship between pregnancy and life satisfaction for women of childbearing age. The results show strong differences by race. Pregnancy has the strongest positive correlation with happiness for Whites, a smaller but still statistically significant positive correlation for Hispanics, and no relationship for Blacks. The results cannot be explained by differences in other demographics such age, income, education, or marital status. Within each racial group, the results hold across different categories for all these characteristics. There is evidence that racial differences in the effects of pregnancy on emotional and social support from others can partly explain this result.
    Keywords: pregnancy; life satisfaction; racial differences
    JEL: J10 I10
    Date: 2010–09
  6. By: Humpert, Stephan
    Abstract: Recent studies in economics of happiness focusing on the influence of different aspects of subjective well-being in transition countries. Here these countries are located in Eastern Europe. After aggregating a dataset which combines the World Values Survey and the European Values Survey, I use an OLS and ordered probit and ordered logit estimation with marginal effects to perform regressions. The main findings are that individuals in transition countries behave like individuals in western industrialisted countries. This shows the international reliability of approach the happiness research approach.
    Keywords: subjective well-being; eastern europe
    JEL: I31 D60 O52
    Date: 2010–08
  7. By: Dajana Cvrlje (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb); Tomislav Ćorić (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb)
    Abstract: Increasing role of quality of life and standard of living took place in countries all over the world, especially nowadays, when numerous effects of the global crisis are felt all over the world. Emerging crisis caused many problems; thereby, in the current situation it is interesting to examine the level of the quality of life and standard of living. The purpose of this paper is to define standard of living and quality of life using objective and subjective indicators. Moreover, special emphasis is on the evaluation of quality of life and living standard in Croatia. After short overview of general development of concepts of standard of living and quality of life, situation in Croatia is analyzed in more details by using different indicators; GDP per capita, shopping basket, GFK basket, households’ expenditures, poverty rate, income inequality, HDI, life satisfaction and happiness, deprivation and optimism about the future. The measures show an increase in the standard of living and quality of life in Croatia, but more importantly, they also show the trend of constant increase in the living costs and the rate of poverty. The level of HDI suggests high level of human development and the results of the level of satisfaction imply that people in Croatia are moderately satisfied with their lives and enjoy a rather high level of happiness. Concerning optimism about the future, Croatian people are mostly optimistic.
    Keywords: standard of living, quality of life
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2010–08–26

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