nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒04‒06
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. Direct Evidence on Income Comparisons and Subjective Well-Being By Laszlo Goerke; Markus Pannenberg
  2. How Does Institutional Change Coincide with Changes in the Quality of Life? An Exemplary Case Study By Andreas Exenberger; Simon Hartmann
  3. Management-Employee Relations, Firm Size and Job Satisfaction By Tansel, Aysit; Gazioglu, Saziye

  1. By: Laszlo Goerke (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier); Markus Pannenberg
    Abstract: Subjective well-being (SWB) is generally argued to rise with relative income. However, direct evidence is scarce on whether and how intensively individuals undertake income comparisons, to whom they relate, and what they perceive their relative income to be. In this paper, novel data with direct information on income comparison intensity and perceived relative income with respect to predetermined reference groups is used to provide evidence on the relationship between income comparisons and SWB. We find negative correlations between comparison intensity and SWB for co-workers, people in the same occupation and friends. For job-related reference groups income comparisons are mostly upwards and perceiving to earn less than the reference group is negatively correlated with SWB.
    Keywords: Income Comparisons, Endogenous Reference Groups, German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), Subjective Well-Being
    JEL: D31 D62 I31
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Andreas Exenberger; Simon Hartmann
    Abstract: This paper provides a framework to assess correlations between the change of institutional functions (political centralization, plurality, rule of law, security of property, economic liberty, measured by 12 indicators) and improvements in human development (income, education, health) and violence limitations (conflict-related death tolls) to separate effective from ineffective institutional change. We apply this framework to a low-end institutional environment and provide a century case study of today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Major results are threefold: first, we provide a thick description of institutional development in the Congo in a colonial and post-colonial and hence long-run setting; secondly, we identify periods of institutional change with distinctly different degrees of effectiveness; and thirdly, we are able to provide qualitative information on the questions of perspective (we follow a non-elitist approach), institutional connections, and timing of effects. Finally we propose extension of the framework, especially with respect to in-depth studies of critical transition periods, and its application to comparative case studies.
    Keywords: Institutions, Human Development, Congo (Democratic Republic), History, Effectiveness
    JEL: O43 O55 O15 N37 N47 B52
    Date: 2013–04
  3. By: Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University); Gazioglu, Saziye (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the job satisfaction in relation to managerial attitudes towards employees and firm size using the linked employer-employee survey results in Britain. We first investigate the management-employee relationships and the firm size using maximum likelihood probit estimation. Next various measures of job satisfaction are related to the management-employee relations via maximum likelihood ordered probit estimates. Four measures of job satisfaction that have not been used often are considered. They are satisfaction with influence over job; satisfaction with amount of pay; satisfaction with sense of achievement and satisfaction with respect from supervisors. Main findings indicate that management-employee relationships are less satisfactory in the large firms than in the small firms. Job satisfaction levels are lower in large firms. Less satisfactory management-employee relationships in the large firms may be a major source of the observed lower level of job satisfaction in them. These results have important policy implications from the point of view of the firm management while achieving the aims of their organizations in particular in the large firms in the area of management-employee relationships. Improving the management-employee relations in large firms will increase employee satisfaction in many respects as well as increase productivity and reduce turnover. The nature of the management-employee relations with firm size and job satisfaction has not been investigated before.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, managerial attitudes, firm size, linked employer-employee data, Britain
    JEL: J28 J5 J21 D23
    Date: 2013–03

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