New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2011‒07‒21
four papers chosen by

  1. Social capital or social cohesion: what matters for subjective well-being (SWB)? By KLEIN Carlo
  2. Homeownership and subjective well-being By Bloze, Gintautas; Skak, Morten
  3. An experimental analysis of the impact of survey design on measures and models of subjective wellbeing By Pudney, Stephen
  4. Child Wellbeing in Two-Parent Families: How Do Characteristics and Relationships Matter? By Lawrence M. Berger; Sara S. McLanahan

  1. By: KLEIN Carlo
    Abstract: The theoretical analysis of the concepts of social capital and of social cohesion shows that social capital should be considered as a micro concept whereas social cohesion, being a broader concept than social capital, is a more appropriate concept for macro analysis. Therefore, we suggest that data on the individual level should only be used to analyze the relationship between social capital, social cohesion indicators and subjective well-being and that they do not allow commenting on the level of social cohesion in a society. For this last type of analyses aggregated indicators of social cohesion have to be computed which is not the issue of this paper. Our empirical analysis is based on individual data for Luxembourg in 2008. In general, our results suggest that investments in social capital generate monetary returns (increased income) and psychic returns (increased SWB) even in a highly developed and multicultural country like Luxembourg. When we are adding on the micro level variables representing the economic domain of social cohesion following Bernard (1999), then we observe that this domain also has an effect on income and on SWB. Therefore, we recommend including the economic domain in any future analysis using the concept of social cohesion.
    Keywords: social capital; social cohesion; subjective well-being; EVS 2008
    JEL: A10 D10 I30
    Date: 2011–07
  2. By: Bloze, Gintautas (Department of Business and Economics); Skak, Morten (Department of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: Favouring homeownership is an important part of housing policies in many countries. Although this may be explained by the preferences of the majority of voters, it may also be because homeownership is believed to have positive effects on individuals’ behaviour and welfare. Previous research seems to indicate that homeownership increases individual welfare, but it is difficult to control for all other factors that may influence and bias the results. Based on panel data from Danish surveys on living conditions from the years 1976, 1986 and 2000, the paper presents an analysis of homeownership and subjective well-being.
    Keywords: Homeownership; Subjective well-being; Panel data
    JEL: D10 I10 R20
    Date: 2010–09–23
  3. By: Pudney, Stephen
    Abstract: We analyse the results of experiments on aspects of the design of questionnaire and interview mode in the 2009 wave of the new UK Understanding Society panel survey. The randomised experiments relate to job- and life-satisfaction questions and vary the labeling of response scales, the mode of interviewing and the location of questions within the interview. We find a highly significant impact of these design features on the distributions of reported satisfaction in various life domains and some important impacts on the findings from conventional cross-section models of satisfaction.
    Date: 2010–06–23
  4. By: Lawrence M. Berger (University of Wisconsin, Madison); Sara S. McLanahan (Princeton University)
    Abstract: We use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine the role of individual and family characteristics, as well as mother-father and parent-child relationships, with regard to differences in wellbeing for children living with their biological mother and either their biological father or a social father. We find that accounting for these factors produces a large decrease in the association between two-parent family type and cognitive skills, but does little to explain the association between family type and externalizing behavior problems, given suppressor effects of several of the father characteristics and relationship measures. Furthermore, results from Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions suggest that differences in cognitive skills can largely be explained by differences in the characteristics and behaviors of the individuals comprising biological- and social-father families, whereas differences in externalizing behavior problems predominantly reflect differences in returns to (effects of) these characteristics and behaviors for children in the two family types.
    Keywords: parents, children, relationships, welfare, wellbeing, martial status
    JEL: D19 D69 H31 I30 J13
    Date: 2011–06

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