nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2012‒11‒11
two papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Subjective Well-Being: Weather Matters; Climate Doesn't By John Feddersen; Robert Metcalfe; Mark Wooden
  2. Parents Transmit Happiness along with Associated Values and Behaviors to Their Children: A Lifelong Happiness Dividend? By Headey, Bruce; Muffels, Ruud; Wagner, Gert G.

  1. By: John Feddersen; Robert Metcalfe; Mark Wooden
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of short-term weather and long-term climate on self-reported life satisfaction using panel data. We find robust evidence that day-to-day weather variation impacts life satisfaction by a similar magnitude to acquiring a mild disability. Utilizing two sources of variation in the cognitive complexity of satisfaction questions, we present evidence that weather bias arises because of the cognitive challenge of reporting life satisfaction. Consistent with past studies, we detect a relationship between long-term climate and life satisfaction without individual fixed effects. This relationship is not robust to individual fixed effects, suggesting climate does not directly influence life satisfaction.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction, Subjective well-being, Climate change, Weather
    JEL: Q51 C23 C81 C83
    Date: 2012
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oxf:wpaper:627&r=hap
  2. By: Headey, Bruce (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Muffels, Ruud (Tilburg University); Wagner, Gert G. (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: There are strong two-way links between parent and child happiness (life satisfaction), even for 'children' who have grown up, moved to their own home and partnered themselves. German panel evidence shows that transmission of (un)happiness from parents to children is partly due to transmission of values and behaviors known to be associated with happiness (Headey, Wagner and Muffels, 2010, 2012). These values and behaviors include giving priority to pro-social and family values, rather than material values, maintaining a preferred balance between work and leisure, active social and community participation, and regular exercise. Both parents have about equal influence on the values and behaviors which children adopt. However, the life satisfaction of adult 'children' continues to be directly influenced by the life satisfaction of their mothers, with the influence of fathers being only indirect, via transmission of values and behaviors. There appears to be a lifelong happiness dividend (or unhappiness dividend) due to parenting. Structural equation models with two-way causation indicate that the life satisfaction of offspring can significantly affect the satisfaction of their parents, as well as vice-versa, long after the 'children' have left home. Data come from 25 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey (SOEP, 1984-2008). SOEP is the only panel survey worldwide in which data on life satisfaction have been obtained from parents and an adequate sub-sample of children no longer living in the parental home.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, subjective well-being, child happiness, inter-generational transmission, German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), structural equation models
    JEL: D60 I31 J13 J22 C33
    Date: 2012–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6944&r=hap

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