New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒11‒06
three papers chosen by

  1. Time, Quality and Growth By Alcalá Francisco
  2. Culture, participative decision making and job satisfaction By Gail Pacheco; Don J. Webber
  3. A Framework of Happiness Survey and Evaluation of Gross National Happiness By Haiou Zhou

    Abstract: Consumption requires time (consumption and time are complements of each other). In addition higherquality goods provide more utility per unit of time allocated to consumption, though at a higher monetary cost. Since time is limited, higher income is decreasingly spent augmenting the number of units of goods being consumed and increasingly spent upgrading their quality. After analyzing the basic microeconomics of consumer quantity/quality choices, this working paper investigates its implications on growth. As a country develops, raising the quality of output becomes increasingly important as a component of gross domestic product (GDP) growth relative to quantity growth. Furthermore technological progress is increasingly quality-biased. Lower income inequality raises the scale of output while reducing average quality. This is positive for technical progress and growth at early stages of economic development but may be negative at later stages. These results are broadly consistent with the existing empirical evidence on the composition of GDP growth, international trade patterns of vertical specialization across countries, and the nonlinearity of the impact of inequality on growth. This working paper also explores the potential role of progressive consumption taxes as a growth policy.
    Keywords: Allocation of time, product quality, inequality, growth, distortionary consumption taxes.
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Gail Pacheco (Department of Economics, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.); Don J. Webber (Department of Economics, Auckland University of Technology and Department of Economics, UWE, Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper demonstrates that the determinants of job satisfaction do not change if the worker has decision making freedom and that the impact of some individual characteristics on job satisfaction follow interesting patterns as we move through occupational statuses.
    Keywords: Bivariate probit; Job satisfaction; Participatory decision making
    JEL: J28
    Date: 2010–10
  3. By: Haiou Zhou
    Abstract: Happiness surveys based on self-report can generate unreliable data due to respondents’ imperfect retrospection, vulnerability to context, and arbitrariness in measuring happiness. To overcome these problems, this article proposes to incorporate a method of measuring happiness, which is developed by Ng (1996) based on Edgeworth’s notion of “Just Perceivable Increment†of happiness, with the Day Reconstruction Method developed by Kahneman et al (2004a) to form a new happiness survey procedure. Distinguished from many surveys that simply ask respondents to rate their subjective wellbeing on a given scale, this happiness measuring method provide detailed instructions to help respondents determine and use their personal happiness units, which are interpersonally comparable, in measuring happiness. While the Day Reconstruction Method helps avoid the effects of imperfect retrospection and external disturbances, the proposed method of measuring happiness can help reduce the arbitrariness in self-measurement and derive accurate, coherent and interpersonally comparable happiness metrics. Therefore, data collected from such a survey can be used as a more reliable informational foundation for the evaluation of gross national happiness.
    Keywords: Happiness survey, Day Reconstruction Method, Just Perceivable Increment, Wellbeing, Gross National Happiness
    JEL: J00 J17 J18
    Date: 2010–05

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