New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2010‒12‒11
seven papers chosen by

  2. The Children Left Behind: A league table of inequality in child well-being in the world's rich countries By Peter Adamson; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
  3. Risk Attitudes and Well-being in Latin America By Juan Camilo Cárdenas; Jeffrey Carpenter
  4. Globalization, Poverty, Inequality, and Insecurity: Some Insights from the Economics of Happiness By Carol Graham
  5. Economic Well-being and Non-economic Well-being: A Review of the Meaning and Measurement of Poverty By Andrew Sumner
  6. Composite Indices of Human Well-being: Past, Present, and Future By Mark McGillivray; Farhad Noorbakhsh
  7. Progress in Human Development - Are we on the right path? By Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan; Srijit Mishra

  1. By: Katrin Tamm; Raul Eamets; Pille Mõtsmees
    Abstract: The growing awareness of the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has raised the questions about how responsible behavior of firms would impact employees’ well-being. This paper investigates the link between corporate social responsibility and job satisfaction, which is a more widely recognized measure to assess well-being at work. Based on the survey of 3637 employees in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, measures of internal and external social responsibility are found to be positively associated with job satisfaction. Findings of the study indicate that employees’ assessments on various aspects of their job are noticeably higher in firms that are perceived as more engaged in CSR activities both towards their internal and external stakeholders. A further outcome of the study emphasizes the negative link between firm size and corporate social responsibility thus reflecting that smaller firms tend to show higher assessments regarding CSR. Similar relationships are also found between firm size and job satisfaction.
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility, stakeholder view, employee engagement, job satisfaction
    JEL: M14 M52
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Peter Adamson; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: This Report Card presents a first overview of inequalities in child well-being for 24 of the world’s richest countries. Three dimensions of inequality are examined: material well-being, education, and health. In each case and for each country, the question asked is ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ The report argues that children deserve the best possible start, that early experience can cast a long shadow, and that children are not to be held responsible for the circumstances into which they are born. In this sense the metric used - the degree of bottom-end inequality in child well-being - is a measure of the progress being made towards a fairer society. Bringing in data from the majority of OECD countries, the report attempts to show which of them are allowing children to fall behind by more than is necessary in education, health and material well-being (using the best performing countries as a minimum standard for what can be achieved). In drawing attention to the depth of disparities revealed, and in summarizing what is known about the consequences, it argues that ‘falling behind’ is a critical issue not only for millions of individual children today but for the economic and social future of their nations tomorrow.
    Keywords: child poverty; comparative analysis; education; health; housing conditions; industrialized countries; nutrition; policy and planning; poverty; social conditions; social indicators;
    JEL: A1 A14 D1 H0 I0
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Juan Camilo Cárdenas; Jeffrey Carpenter
    Abstract: A common premise in both the theoretical and policy literature on development is that people remain poor because they are too impatient to save and too risk averse to take the sort of chances needed to accumulate wealth. The empirical literature, however, suggests that this assumption is far from proven. We report on field experiments designed to address many of the problems confounding previous analyses of the links between risk preferences and well-being. Our sample includes more than 3,000 participants who were drawn representatively from six Latin American cities: Bogotá, Buenos Aries, Caracas, Lima, Montevideo, San José. In addition to the experiment which reveals interesting cross-country differences, participants completed an extensive survey that provides data on a variety of well-being indicators and a number of important controls. Focusing on risk preferences, we find little evidence of robust links between risk aversion and wellbeing. However, when we analyze the results of three treatments that add elements of reality to the decision problem, we see that these, more subtle, instruments correlate better with well-being, even after controlling for a variety of other important factors like the accumulation of human capital and access to credit.
    Date: 2010–11–22
  4. By: Carol Graham
    Abstract: The literature on the economics of happiness in the developed economies finds discrepancies between reported measures of wellbeing and income measures. The ‘Easterlin paradox’, for example, shows that average happiness levels do not increase as countries grow wealthier. This article explores how the economics of happiness can help explain gaps between standard measures of poverty and inequality and reported assessments of welfare in countries in the process of integrating into the global economy. [Research Paper No. 2005/33]
    Keywords: welfare, wellbeing, happiness
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Andrew Sumner
    Abstract: This paper discusses the measurement of poverty and well-being. A historical overview is given of the last fifty years. This is followed by discussion of three groupings of indicators: those measures based primarily on economic well-being; those based on non-economic well-being and composite indicators. It is argued that the choice of indicator should reflect its purpose and that economic measures are best when quick, rough-and-ready, short run, aggregate inferences are required. In contrast, non-economic measures are better when greater depth on medium- or longer-term trends and/or dis-aggregation are required. [Research Paper No. 2004/30]
    Keywords: data, statistics, poverty, well-being
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Mark McGillivray; Farhad Noorbakhsh
    Abstract: This paper surveys the various composite well-being indices that have been inter-country assessments over the last 40 or soy ears, including the well known Human Development Index (HDI). A number of issues are considered, including the choice of components, component weights, scale equivalence, non-linearity, correlations among components and the policy relevance of such measures. [ResearchPaperNo.2004/63]
    Keywords: human well-being, composite well-being indices, income per capita, Human Development Index, Physical Quality ofLife Index, non-linearity, measures, country
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Hippu Salk Kristle Nathan; Srijit Mishra (Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research)
    Abstract: The conventional measure of Human Development Index (HDI) is a linear average across dimensions, HDI1. Under this, poor attainments in any dimension gets perfectly compensated for better attainments in any other dimension HDI2, which is based on Euclidean distance measuring shortfall from the ideal, addresses the above anomaly. In our analysis of progress, we use HDI2 to develop the notion of an ideal path and penalty to capture deviation from this; and a measure of fluctuation. The measures are applied to 127 countries for the period 1990-2004. The results show that Sub-Saharan countries have suffered on account of sharp decline in health suggesting prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic. In case of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the income dimension got jolted in the nineties indicating their economic collapse after Soviet disintegration. We also find some of the emerging economies progressing well along the ideal path. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Human Development Report, this paper is timely and would engage academia and public policy to have a critical look favouring a balanced development across the three dimensions of HDI - health, education and standard of living.
    Keywords: Human Development Index (HDI), Ideal path, Measure of fluctuation, Measure of normalized-change, Sub-Saharan, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
    JEL: C43 I00 O15
    Date: 2010

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