nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2012‒10‒20
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Value to the Environmental Movement of the New Literature on the Economics of Happiness By Oswald, Andrew J.
  2. The Ranking of Inequality in Human Capital: Evidence from Asian Countries By Jirada Prasartpornsirichoke; Yoshi Takahashi; Peera Charoenporn
  3. The Friends Factor: How Students’ Social Networks Affect Their Academic Achievement and Well-Being? By Victor Lavy; Edith Sand

  1. By: Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick and CAGE UK and IZA Germany)
    Abstract: Many environmentalists have not yet discovered and understood the value to them of a new research literature. That literature is the economics of happiness. It offers a potentially important tool for future policy debate. In particular, this literature offers a defensible way to calculate the costs and benefits of the true happiness value of ‘green’ variables – and to weigh those against the happiness value to people of extra income and consumption. Some of the latest research findings turn out to accord well with environmentalists’ intuitions : green variables seem to have large direct effects on human well-being; society would arguably be better to concentrate more on environmental aims and less on monetary or materialistic ones; greater consumption of things in Western society cannot be expected to make us much happier
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Jirada Prasartpornsirichoke (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University); Yoshi Takahashi (Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University); Peera Charoenporn (Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to investigate that the international cross-sectional comparison of inequalities in human capital and education among 16 Asian countries. More specifically we employed the order-ranking of Gini coefficients that is workable in empirical studies as well as that of Lorenz curves sequenced from basic pairwise Lorenz dominance comparisons of 240 cases. The latter is provided as an alternative measure of education and human capital distribution in comparison with the former measure. Our major finding is rank correlation coefficients between both measures of both inequalities are high and significant but not unity. At least in this data set, the rankings of inequalities in education and human capital from two measures are able to apply in empirics. Gini index of both inequalities were calculated from Cohen & Soto's educational attainment data-set during 1960-2010; ten-year interval period. Data obtained from these Asian countries is computed to confirm the relationship education, human capital, and their inequalities. We found the negative linear relationship between average years of schooling and its Gini while the relationship between stock of human capital and its Gini becomes inverted-U shape curve.
    Keywords: Inequality in education and human capital, Gini index, Lorenz curves, pair-wise comparison
    JEL: J24 O15
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Victor Lavy; Edith Sand
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the influence of social relationships on educational attainment and social outcomes of students in school. More specifically, we investigate how losing different types of social relationships during the transition from elementary to middle school affect students' academic progress and general well-being. We use social relationships identified by the students themselves in elementary school, as part of a unique aspect of the Tel Aviv school application process which allows sixth-grade students to designate their middle schools of choice and to list up to eight friends with whom they wish to attend that school. The lists create natural “friendship hierarchies” that we exploit in our analysis. We designate the three categories of requited and unrequited friendships that stem from these lists as follows: (1) reciprocal friends (students who list one another); and for those whose friendship requests did not match: (2) followers (those who listed fellow students as friends but were not listed as friends by these same fellow students) and (3) non-reciprocal friends (parallel to followers). Following students from elementary to middle school enables us to overcome potential selection bias by using pupil fixed-effect methodology. Our results suggest that the presence of reciprocal friends and followers in class has a positive and significant effect on test scores in English, math, and Hebrew. However, the number of friends in the social network beyond the first circle of reciprocal friends has no effect at all on students. In addition, the presence of non-reciprocal friends in class has a negative effect on a student’s learning outcomes. We find that these effects have interesting patterns of heterogeneity by gender, ability, and age of students. In addition, we find that these various types of friendships have positive effects on other measures of well-being, including social and overall happiness in school, time allocated for homework, and whether one exhibits violent behavior.
    JEL: D8 J0
    Date: 2012–10

This nep-hap issue is ©2012 by Viviana Di Giovinazzo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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