New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2012‒07‒23
three papers chosen by

  1. Birth Order and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Ecuador By de Haan, Monique; Plug, Erik; Rosero, José
  2. Differences in Quality of Life Estimates Using Rents and Home Values By Winters, John V.
  3. Overseas Deployment, Combat Exposure, and Well-Being in the 2010 National Survey of Veterans By Ryan D. Edwards

  1. By: de Haan, Monique (University of Amsterdam); Plug, Erik (University of Amsterdam); Rosero, José (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In this paper we examine the effect of birth order on human capital development in Ecuador using a large national database together with self-collected survey data. Using family fixed effects models we find significant positive birth order effects; earlier born children stay behind in their human capital development from early childhood to adolescence. Turning to potential mechanisms we find that earlier born children receive less quality time from their mothers than later born children. In addition, they are breastfed shorter. The estimated birth order effects are largest for children in their teens growing up in poor, low educated families.
    Keywords: birth order, human capital development, parental time allocation, Ecuador
    JEL: D1 I2 J1
    Date: 2012–07
  2. By: Winters, John V. (University of Cincinnati)
    Abstract: Quality of life differences across areas can be measured by differences in “real wages”, where real wages are computed as nominal wages adjusted for the cost of living. Computing cost of living differences involves several important issues, including how housing prices should be measured. Previous researchers typically have used some combination of rental payments and homeowner housing values, but housing values are forward-looking and may not reflect current user costs. This paper examines differences in quality of life estimates for U.S. metropolitan areas using, alternatively, rents and housing values. We find that the two measures of quality of life are highly correlated. Value-based estimates, however, are considerably more dispersed than rent-based estimates, likely because of the recent housing bubble and because housing values often provide an imperfect measure of the present user cost of housing. Researchers should be cautious in using housing values to construct quality of life estimates.
    Keywords: quality of life, amenities, rents, housing, wages
    JEL: R13 R21 R23
    Date: 2012–07
  3. By: Ryan D. Edwards
    Abstract: Recent military engagements in Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF) raise questions about the effects on service members of overseas deployment, which can include service in a combat or war zone, exposure to casualties, or both. The 2010 National Survey of Veterans, which asked a broad cross section of living veteran cohorts about deployment to OEF/OIF and combat exposure, provides some new insights into short and long-term relationships between characteristics of military service and outcomes. Analysis of these data suggests that the impacts of deployment and combat on the current socioeconomic well-being of returning OEF/OIF veterans may be relatively small, but the effects of combat exposure on self-reported health and other nonpecuniary indicators of their well-being appear to be negative. Among older veteran cohorts, where there is clearer sorting into treatment and control groups because of strong variation in combat exposure by year of birth, patterns are broadly similar. These results are consistent with a veterans compensation system that replaces lost earnings but does not necessarily compensate for other harms associated with combat exposure such as mental health trauma.
    JEL: H56 I1 N42
    Date: 2012–07

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