New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2012‒01‒25
five papers chosen by

  1. Multidimensional Well-being at the Top: Evidence for Germany By Andreas Peichl; Nico Pestel
  2. Men's Sexual Orientation and Job Satisfaction By Drydakis, Nick
  3. On the measurement of social progress and well being: some further thoughts By Jean Paul Fitoussi; Joseph Stiglitz
  4. The Absence of Deprivation as a Measure of Social Well-Being. An Empirical Investigation By Patrick MOYES (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Brice MAGDALOU (CEREGMIA (EA 2440), Université des Antilles et de la Guyane)
  5. ‘Surfeiting, The Appetite May Sicken’: Entrepreneurship and the Happiness of Nations By Wim Naudé; José Ernesto Amorós; Oscar Cristi

  1. By: Andreas Peichl; Nico Pestel
    Abstract: This paper employs a multidimensional approach for the measurement of well-being at the top of the distribution using German SOEP micro data. Besides income as traditional indicator for material well-being, we include health as a proxy for nonmaterial quality of life as well as self-reported satisfaction with life as dimensions. We find that one third of the German population is well-off in at least one dimension but only one percent in all three dimensions simultaneously. While the distribution of income has become more concentrated at the top, the concentration at the top of the multidimensional well-being distribution has decreased over time. Moreover, health as well as life satisfaction contribute quite substantially to multidimensional wellbeing at the top which has important policy implications.
    Keywords: Multidimensional measurement, well-being, Germany
    JEL: D31 D63 I31
    Date: 2011
  2. By: Drydakis, Nick (University of Patras)
    Abstract: This study investigates the differences in three aspects of job satisfaction – total pay, promotion prospects, and respect received from one's supervisor – between male heterosexual and gay employees in Athens, Greece. Gay employees are found to be less satisfied according to all job satisfaction measures. Affect Theory proposes that the extent to which one values a given facet of work moderates how dissatisfied one becomes when one's expectations are not met. Furthermore, the data enable us to estimate that gay employees' job satisfaction is not associated more (as compared to heterosexuals' job satisfaction) with adverse mental health symptoms. This finding is crucial given the rising interest between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Finally, wage gaps against gay employees are found after accounting for basic asymmetries. Interestingly, however, the wage gaps grow for very dissatisfied employees and shrink for very satisfied employees. As long as, the general patterns in Greece suggest that homosexual employees face labour market discrimination, gay employees will report being less satisfied at work. Actually, in this study, job satisfaction is associated with wage inequality. This research initiates efforts to compare job satisfaction based on sexual orientation.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, sexual orientation
    JEL: J28 C93 J7 J16 J31 J42 J64 J71
    Date: 2012–01
  3. By: Jean Paul Fitoussi (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques); Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Two years after the delivery of the report on The Measurement of Economic Performances and Social Progress (Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi),this paper provides some further reflections on the subject. Since 2008, when the work of the Commission began, the world has experienced several dramatic events which all call into question our measurement systems and the policies which were grounded on them: the financial crisis of 2007-2008, the grave events in Japan, the Sovereign debt crisis, and the revolutions in the Arabic world. In particular, the Japanese earthquake and its aftermath underlines three central shortcomings of our metrics: the measurement of the economic product,the measurement of well being, and the measurement of sustainability. For economists, these concerns are especially important, because we often rely on statistical (econometric analyses) to make inferences about what are good policies. Those inferences are only as reliable as the metrics that they are based on. Our statistical systems should tell us whether or not what we are doing is sustainable, economically, environmentally, politically, or socially and whether proposed policies will in fact enhance well-being . There would be little sense in pursuing policies aimed at increasing some widely used metric like GDP ifsuch policies lead to a decrease in well being.
    Keywords: 1- Economic indicators 2- Gross Domestic Products 3-Social indicators 4- Well being 5- Sustainability
    JEL: E01 E30 G10 I32 Q50 Q54
    Date: 2011–10
  4. By: Patrick MOYES (GREThA, CNRS, UMR 5113); Brice MAGDALOU (CEREGMIA (EA 2440), Université des Antilles et de la Guyane)
    Abstract: The generalised Lorenz criterion is widely used for making welfare comparisons within and across countries on the basis of their income distributions. Experimental studies have challenged this way of proceeding by showing that the principle of transfers, which underlies the generalised Lorenz criterion, does not meet with widespread agreement among the public that theorists would have expected. We propose to substitute the non-deprivation quasi-ordering introduced by S.R. Chakravarty (Keio Economic Studies 34 (1997), 17–32) for the generalised Lorenz criterion. This criterion is less demanding than the generalised Lorenz criterion as it builds on a weaker version of the principle of transfers and it is therefore more likely to be accepted by the public. We use income data from the Luxembourg Income Study for 17 countries in order to contrast the generalised Lorenz and the non-deprivation criteria. Although the non-deprivation quasi-ordering is less decisive than the generalised Lorenz criterion, it is shown that the former approximates the latter surprisingly well.
    Keywords: Progressive Transfers, Social Welfare, Inequality, Deprivation
    JEL: D30 D63
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Wim Naudé (Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands and UNU‐WIDER, Helsinki, Finland.); José Ernesto Amorós (Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.); Oscar Cristi (Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.)
    Abstract: We know that entrepreneurs – at least those driven by opportunities – can contribute to economic growth, productivity improvements and competitiveness in national economies.. But do they contribute to happiness on the country level? In other words, does the happiness of nations depend on its entrepreneurs? And what about happy nations – are they better places for entrepreneurs to start‐up new businesses? In this paper we survey the literature on entrepreneurship and happiness, and use various data sources, primarily from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, to find tentative evidence of an inverse U‐shape relationship between entrepreneurship and national happiness We also find a bi‐directional causality between entrepreneurship and happiness on a country level On an individual level however, national happiness is found to have a negative effect on the probability of becoming an entrepreneur. We conclude that entrepreneurship may make nations happier, but as nations become happier, their need and imperative for entrepreneurship seems to decline. Hence, not everybody should become entrepreneurs and the happiness of a nation cannot be –indefinitely increased by increasing the numbers of entrepreneurs.
    Keywords: Happiness, life and job satisfaction, self‐employment, aspirations, development, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, double‐probit estimator.
    JEL: I31 M13 O50
    Date: 2011–05

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