nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2011‒03‒12
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. La Dolce Vita: Hedonic Estimates of Quality of Life in Italian Cities By Emilio Colombo; Alessandra Michelangeli; Luca Stanca
  2. Richard Layard y la Economía de la Felicidad By Andrés Gómez León; Jeanne Kelly Ruíz Tavera; Jaime Vergara Hincapié
  3. Allocation of Time within Italian Couples: Exploring the Role of Institutional Factors and their Effects on Household's Wellbeing By Tindara Addabbo; Antonella Caiumi; Anna Maccagnan
  4. New measures of the costs of unemployment: Evidence from the subjective well-being of 2.3 million Americans By Helliwell, John; Huang, Haifang

  1. By: Emilio Colombo; Alessandra Michelangeli; Luca Stanca
    Abstract: This paper provides an assessment of quality of life in Italian cities using the hedonic approach. We analyze micro-level data for housing and labor markets to estimate compensating differentials for local amenities within five domains: climate, environment, services, society and economy. The estimated implicit prices are used to construct overall and domain-specific quality of life indices. We find that differences in amenities are re°ected in substantial compensating differentials in housing prices, whereas the effects on wages are relatively small. Quality of life varies substantially across space and is strongly related to differences in public services and economic conditions. Overall, quality of life is highest in medium-sized cities of the Center-North, displaying relatively high scores in all the domains considered. Northern cities fare better with respect to services, social and economic conditions, while relatively worse for climate and environmental conditions.
    Keywords: quality of life, hedonic prices, housing markets
    JEL: C4 D5 H4 J3 J6 P2 P3 Q2 R2
    Date: 2010–12
  2. By: Andrés Gómez León; Jeanne Kelly Ruíz Tavera; Jaime Vergara Hincapié
    Abstract: El presente artículo destaca el aporte interdisciplinario, y por ende innovador para la teoría económica ortodoxa, propuesto por Layard para el entendimiento del origen y las causas de la felicidad; así mismo, procura un análisis crítico de las virtudes y falencias de argumentación del autor, de las estrategias para el alcance del bienestar individual y de las propuestas de política pública que pueden conducir a la obtención de la felicidad colectiva.
    Date: 2011–03–02
  3. By: Tindara Addabbo; Antonella Caiumi; Anna Maccagnan
    Abstract: Italy is characterized by a very uneven distribution of paid and unpaid work in gender terms. Italy has the lowest female employment rate apart from Malta in the European region, with a tangibly wide gender gap in employment and participation rates to the disadvantage of women. Furthermore, the female labour supply is very unevenly distributed across the Italian regions, and both institutional and labour market factors may be considered as lying at the basis of the high regional heterogeneity. This paper aims at understanding more in depth the uneven allocation of time by gender in Italian households. For this purpose we propose a model on the partners' allocation of time, that takes into account the simultaneity of partners' allocation of time decisions, as well as the issue of censored observations in some partenrs' uses of time. In order to estimate this model, we use IT SILC 2007 data that provides us with information on income and hours of work as well as on other relevant sociodemographic variables, maintaining the significance at regional level. This also allows us to analyze the contribution of institutional factors (like the heterogeneous distribution of childcare services in Italy and labour market differences) and interaction with various dimensions of wellbeing. Our findings suggest that an increase in women's wages affects women's working time, both by directly increasing womens paid hours of work, and decreasing the time devoted to household activities and indirectly via a more equal distribution of unpaid work within the couple. The presence of children in the household tends to reduce women's paid work, while having a positive effect on the time spent by the husband in paid work and on both partners supply of unpaid work. We also note that the availability of childcare services represents the most relevant factor affecting women's participatory decisions as well as their hours of paid work.
    JEL: J16 J22
    Date: 2011–02
  4. By: Helliwell, John (University of British Columbia); Huang, Haifang (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: By exploiting two very large samples of US subjective well-being data we are able to obtain comparable estimates of the monetary and other costs of unemployment on the unemployed themselves, while simultaneously estimating the effects of local employment on the subjective well-being of the rest of the population. For those who are unemployed, the subjective well-being consequences can be divided into income and non-income effects, with the latter being five times larger than the former. This is similar to what has been found in many countries, as is our finding that the non-income effects are lower for individuals living in areas of high unemployment. Most importantly, we are able to use the large sample size and variety of questions in the BRFSS and Gallup daily polls to reconcile, and extend to the United States, what had previously seemed to be contradictory results on the size and nature of the spillover effects of unemployment on subjective well-being. At the population level the spillover effects are twice as large as the direct effects, making the total well-being costs of unemployment fifteen times larger than those directly due to the lower incomes of the unemployed.
    Keywords: unemployment; well-being
    JEL: E24 H23 J64 J68
    Date: 2011–02–24

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