New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2011‒01‒16
four papers chosen by

  1. Did population well-being improve during Porfirian Mexico? An approximation using a Quasi-Index of human development By Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez; Roberto Vélez-Grajales
  2. Happy House: Spousal Weight and Individual Well-Being By Andrew E. Clark; Fabrice Etilé
  3. International Happiness By David G. Blanchflower; Andrew J. Oswald
  4. Poverty, Population, Inequality, and Development: the Historical Perspective By Chilosi, Alberto

  1. By: Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez (El Colegio de México); Roberto Vélez-Grajales (Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias)
    Abstract: It is argued that economic growth during the Porfiriato did not improve the well-being of Mexican population. One explanation for such result is that economic growth pattern was skewed and benefited more the northern states and less the southern ones. Following the estimation method of the Human Development Index (HDI), we calculate a Human Development Quasi-Index for the Mexican states during the period 1895-1910. Results show that starting the period (1895) the northern states were already the most developed. During the next 15 year this pattern was maintained and the dispersion in human development increased marginally. Finally, it is shown that the true losers of Porfiriato were the states surrounding Mexico City and not the southern ones.
    Keywords: human development, well-being, Mexico, Porfiriato
    JEL: I30 N36 O10
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Andrew E. Clark; Fabrice Etilé
    Abstract: We use life satisfaction and Body Mass Index (BMI) information from three waves of the SOEP to test for social interactions in BMI between spouses. Social interactions require that the cross-partial effect of partner's weight and own weight in the utility function be positive. Using life satisfaction as a utility proxy, semi-parametric regressions show that the correlation between satisfaction and own BMI is initially positive, but turns negative 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, which is consistent with social contagion effects in weight. However, this cross-partial effect becomes insignificant in instrumental variable regressions, suggesting that the uninstrumented relationship reflects selection on the marriage market or omitted variables, rather than social interactions.
    Keywords: Obesity, subjective well-being, BMI, social interactions
    JEL: C14 I12 I3
    Date: 2010
  3. By: David G. Blanchflower; Andrew J. Oswald
    Abstract: This paper describes the findings from a new, and intrinsically interdisciplinary, literature on happiness and human well-being. The paper focuses on international evidence. We report the patterns in modern data; we discuss what has been persuasively established and what has not; we suggest paths for future research. Looking ahead, our instinct is that this social-science research avenue will gradually merge with a related literature -- from the medical, epidemiological, and biological sciences -- on biomarkers and health. Nevertheless, we expect that intellectual convergence to happen slowly.
    JEL: I1 I3
    Date: 2011–01
  4. By: Chilosi, Alberto
    Abstract: Seen in historical perspective the main economic predicaments of the present world (such as poverty, inequality, backwardness) appear in a somewhat different light than in many current discussions, especially by sociologists, radical economists and political scientists. In the present paper the achievements of the modern age, and in particular of the post- World War II period, are considered in the perspective of economic and demographic history, and in their connection with the systems of production and of international relations. Some considerations concerning future possible developments conclude the paper.
    Keywords: poverty; population; development; distribution; globalization
    JEL: O10 P00 N00
    Date: 2010

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