nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒10‒16
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Subjective well-being, income, economic development and growth By Daniel W. Sacks; Betsey Stevenson; Justin Wolfers
  2. La Salute Globale tra Beni Pubblici, Diritti Collettivi e Capability By Nicolò Bellanca
  3. Does inequality in health impede growth? By Grimm, M.
  4. Married with children: a collective labor supply model with detailed time use and intrahousehold expenditure information. By Cherchye, Laurens; De Rock, Bram; Vermeulen, Frederic
  5. Orphanhood and Critical Periods in Children’s Human Capital Formation: Long-Run Evidence from North-Western Tanzania By Jens Hagen; Toman Omar Mahmoud; Natalia Trofimenko

  1. By: Daniel W. Sacks; Betsey Stevenson; Justin Wolfers
    Abstract: We explore the relationships between subjective well-being and income, as seen across individuals within a given country, between countries in a given year, and as a country grows through time. We show that richer individuals in a given country are more satisfied with their lives than are poorer individuals, and establish that this relationship is similar in most countries around the world. Turning to the relationship between countries, we show that average life satisfaction is higher in countries with greater GDP per capita. The magnitude of the satisfaction-income gradient is roughly the same whether we compare individuals or countries, suggesting that absolute income plays an important role in influencing well-being. Finally, studying changes in satisfaction over time, we find that as countries experience economic growth, their citizens‘ life satisfaction typically grows, and that those countries experiencing more rapid economic growth also tend to experience more rapid growth in life satisfaction. These results together suggest that measured subjective well-being grows hand in hand with material living standards.>
    Keywords: Well-being - Economic aspects
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Nicolò Bellanca (Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche)
    Abstract: In this essay we look at global health as a public good, a collective right, and a human capability. On the one hand, we propose an analysis which is necessarily multi-disciplinary, as the three concepts originally stem from different disciplines. Indeed, while the concept of public good stems from the field of economic science, the concept of rights refers to the fields of law and political science, and that of capabilities finds its roots mainly in the field of ethics. On the other hand, we also suggest that to a great extent the three arguments converge to shape a new paradigm of interpretation, analysis and policy.
    Keywords: Global Health, Public Good, Human Rights, Capability.
    JEL: I18 I38 O15
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Grimm, M.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of inequality in health on economic growth in low and middle income countries. The empirical part of the paper uses an original cross-national panel data set covering 62 low and middle income countries over the period 1985 to 2007. I find a substantial and relatively robust negative effect of health inequality on income levels and income growth controlling for life expectancy, country and time fixed-effects and a large number of other effects that have been shown to matter for growth. The effect also holds if health inequality is instrumented to circumvent a potential problem of reverse causality. Hence, increasing access to health care for the poor can make a substantial contribution to economic growth not only through its effect on life expectancy but also through its effect on reduced health inequality.
    Keywords: health inequality;health gradient;economic growth
    Date: 2010–05–01
  4. By: Cherchye, Laurens; De Rock, Bram; Vermeulen, Frederic
    Abstract: We propose a collective labor supply model with household production that generalizes an original model of Blundell, Chiappori and Meghir (2005). In our model, adults’ individual preferences do not only depend on own leisure and individual private consumption of market goods. They also depend on the consumption of domestic goods, which are produced by combining goods bought at the market with individuals’ time. We apply our model to new and unique data on Dutch couples with children. The data contains detailed information about the spouses’ time use and the intrahousehold allocation of all expenditures. Our application uses a novel estimation strategy that builds upon the familiar two-stage allocation representation of the collective model. We obtain interesting (and plausible) empirical results. Spouses’ preferences depend on the consumption of domestically produced goods (including children’s welfare). Next, Pareto weights depend on variables like the individual wages and the share in the household’s nonlabor income. Finally, and perhaps surprisingly, we do not find evidence that mothers care more for their children than fathers.
    Date: 2010–09
  5. By: Jens Hagen; Toman Omar Mahmoud; Natalia Trofimenko
    Abstract: Losing a parent is a trauma that has consequences for human capital formation. Does it matter at what age this trauma occurs? Using longitudinal data from the Kagera region in Tanzania that span thirteen years from 1991-2004, we find considerable impact heterogeneity across age at bereavement, but less so for the death of opposite-sex parents. In terms of long-term health status as measured by body height, children who lose their same-sex parent before teenage years are hit hardest. Regarding years of formal education attained in young adulthood, boys whose fathers die before adolescence suffer the most. Maternal bereavement does not fit into this pattern as it affects educational attainment of younger and older children in a similar way. The generally strong interaction between age at parental death and sex of the late parent suggests that the preferences of the surviving parent partly protect same-sex children from orphanhood’s detrimental effects on human capital accumulation
    Keywords: orphans, health, education, timing of parental death, child development, Tanzania
    JEL: I10 I21 J19 C23
    Date: 2010–09

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