New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒06‒04
seven papers chosen by

  1. Income Comparisons, Income Adaptation, and Life Satisfaction: How Robust Are Estimates from Survey Data? By Tobias Pfaff
  2. Effectiveness of a Stress Management Training on Motivation and Well-being By Jesus, Saul; Rus, Claudia; Tobal, Juan
  3. Organizational Well-being Factors. Determinants of Entrepreneurship in Small and Medium Companies of the Defense Sector By Almeida, Helena; Peñalver, Briones
  4. The Effects of Work Values and Work Centrality on Job Satisfaction. A Study With Older Spanish Workers By Orgambídez-Ramos, Alejandro; Mendoza-Sierra, M. Isabel; Giger, Jean-Christophe
  5. Quality of Life and Stressful Life Events in First and Second Generation Immigrant Adolescents By Lemos, Ida; Nunes, Cristina; Nunes, Lara Ayala
  6. Subjective Well-being and Social Integration of College Students By Imaginário, Susana; Vieira, Luís Sérgio; Jesus, Saul Neves
  7. Home Ownership and Job Satisfaction By Semih Tumen; Tugba Zeydanli

  1. By: Tobias Pfaff
    Abstract: Theory suggests that subjective well-being is affected by income comparisons and adaptation to income. Empirical tests of the effects often rely on self-constructed measures from survey data. This paper shows that results can be highly sensitive to simple parameter changes. Using large-scale panel data from Germany and the UK, I report cases where plausible variations in the underlying income type substantially affect tests of the relationship between life satisfaction, income rank, reference income, and income adaptation. Models simultaneously controlling for income and income rank as well as models with a number of income lags are prone to imperfect multicollinearity with consequences for the precision and robustness of estimates. When testing relative-income effects, researchers should be aware that reference income constructed as average of a rather arbitrarily defined reference group and reference income predicted from Mincer-type earnings equations are two approaches that can produce inconsistent results, and that are probably not as reliable and valid as previously assumed. The analysis underlines the importance of robustness checks and regression diagnostics, two routines that are often not carried out diligently in empirical research.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, life satisfaction, relative income, income rank, adaptation
    JEL: C23 D0 I31
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Jesus, Saul (CIEO - Research Centre on Spatial and Organizational Dynamics); Rus, Claudia (Babes-Bolyai University); Tobal, Juan (Complutense University of Madrid)
    Abstract: This study investigated the immediate influence of a stress management training on teachers’ and physicians’ motivational (professional objective, intrinsic motivation, efficacy expectancies) and well-being related outcomes(positive well-being, emotional exhaustion, work distress, irrational beliefs) using meta-analytical techniques. In an action-research perspective, the stress management training program was implemented in several groups of physicians and teachers, in Portugal and in Brazil (n=144). It was found that, at all the samples where this intervention was implemented, an increase occurred on all motivational indicators and on positive well-being, and a decrease on negative well-being outcomes; nevertheless, not all obtained results are statistically significant. The largest impact of the implemented training program was at positive well-being at work, with a large effect size (d+=.81), and at the irrational beliefs, with a medium effect size(d+=.61). These results suggest the short-term benefits of this intervention on teachers' and physicians’ motivation and well-being.
    Keywords: Stress Management Intervention; Teachers; Physicians; Meta-analysis
    JEL: I38
    Date: 2013–05–22
  3. By: Almeida, Helena (CIEO - Research Centre on Spatial and Organizational Dynamics); Peñalver, Briones (Polytechnic University of Cartagena)
    Abstract: All over the world, the small and medium enterprises are more and more organized in consortia, cooperation networks, joint-ventures and strategical alliances allowing not only the reduction of uncertainty and turbulence of the markets but also the gathering of advantages which may make them more competitive. It is worth considering that the results of these relationships are affected by determinant factors which may inhibit or facilitate the entrepreneurship. Our aim is to evaluate the relationship between some of those determinants, association, inter-company cooperation, innovation in the methods of work and creativity—about the entrepreneurship in 236 small and medium enterprises of the national defence. One of the questions initially posed is if there is a significant relation between corporation, innovative methods of work, creativity and entrepreneurship. Secondly, if being creative is an attribute of the entrepreneur, can it have a mediator effect between innovative methods of work and entrepreneurship? A factorial exploratory analysis was made in main components (varimax rotation) and multiple linear regression. The results show the direct relationship of the evaluated determinants and entrepreneurship and the partial mediator effect of the creativity between the innovation in the methods of work and entrepreneurship. These enterprises may expect to develop new methods of work as a high differential component concerning the competition and the more efficient use of knowledge and of the skills of the people who make part of the work team in order to increase their competitiveness.
    Keywords: Cooperation; Creativity; Motivation; Entrepreneurship
    JEL: L26
    Date: 2013–05–22
  4. By: Orgambídez-Ramos, Alejandro (University of Algarve); Mendoza-Sierra, M. Isabel (University of Huelva); Giger, Jean-Christophe (University of Algarve)
    Abstract: Since workforces are ageing throughout Europe, interest in the role of age in the workplace is increasing. Older workers with high work centrality are more likely to negotiate a relational contract and express higher levels of job satisfaction than older workers with low work centrality (Armstrong-Stassen and Schlosser, 2008). This study examines the role of work centrality and valued work outcomes as antecedents of job satisfaction. A cross sectional study using questionnaires was conducted. The sample consisted of 203 Spanish employees (Mage = 55.78, SD = 3.01). Hierarchical multiple regression analyses have revealed that job satisfaction was significantly predicted by needed income and work centrality. When work is not an important part of older workers’ lives, they will prefer extrinsic outcomes and will not invest in the relationship with their organization (Grant & Wade-Benzoni, 2009). Implications for research and theory are explored in the conclusion.
    Keywords: Job Satisfaction; Work Values; Ageism; Work Centrality
    JEL: I10
    Date: 2013–05–23
  5. By: Lemos, Ida (University of Algarve); Nunes, Cristina (University of Algarve); Nunes, Lara Ayala (University of Seville)
    Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine differences in quality of life and stressful life events, in first and second generation immigrant adolescents living in Algarve. A total of 172 immigrant adolescents participated in the study, completing the kidscreen-52, the stressful and negative life events inventory and a socio-demographic questionnaire. Results suggest that younger immigrant adolescents report more physical well-being and a higher mood level. Concerning gender differences, girls scored higher than boys in physical well-being, mood and self-perception, but no differences were found on the other kidscreen subscales. First generation immigrants scored significantly higher than second generation ones on the general quality of life index, psychological well-being, autonomy, financial resources and school environment. However, the second-generation immigrants did not seem to be more exposed to stressful life events than the first-generation group. When selecting relevant variables for well-being promotion and for intervention, we must consider that immigrants are more exposed to economic vulnerability, may experience difficulties in adapting to a different school context, and are at higher risk of social exclusion.
    Keywords: Quality of Life; Stressful Life Events; Immigrants; Adolescence
    JEL: I00
    Date: 2013–05–23
  6. By: Imaginário, Susana (University of Algarve); Vieira, Luís Sérgio (University of Algarve); Jesus, Saul Neves (CIEO- Research Centre on Spatial and Organizational Dynamics)
    Abstract: The student’s transition from secondary school to higher education consists of a series of changes that can have serious consequences if not satisfactorily overcome, including academic failure and college dropout. There are many variables than can influence this process of adjustment to higher education, with a particular emphasis given to social integration, especially because, often, this transition involves a change of residence. Using a sample of 339 students from the University of Algarve, this study aims to deepen our understanding of the relationship between student’s subjective well-being and their social integration in higher education. The results show that the variables of social integration in higher education, interpersonal relationship, personal well-being and emotional balance are predictors of the level of subjective well-being experienced by the students. On the other hand, a significant relation between socio-demographic variables and the student’s happiness was not obtained.
    Keywords: Students; Higher Education; Social Integration; Subjective Well-being
    JEL: I23
    Date: 2013–05–23
  7. By: Semih Tumen; Tugba Zeydanli
    Abstract: This paper investigates the link between job satisfaction and home ownership. We explicitly focus on the effect of a transition from non-ownership to ownership on the self-reported job satisfaction scores. In other words, we concentrate on the change in job satisfaction response for individuals observed right before and after the transition. Utilizing the panel feature of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), we find that transition to ownership reduces job satisfaction within a year following the purchase|controlling for observed variation and unobserved heterogeneity. The reduction in job satisfaction is sharper when the purchase is financed through a mortgage. We also test if this pattern persists over years. We show that the initial reduction in job satisfaction is more than doubled within three years after the transition for both categories of ownership. We conclude that home ownership may be a constraint for the career prospects of the employed workers, since it reduces mobility and forces them to become more dependent on the local labor market conditions. These concerns are deeper in case of a debt-financed ownership.
    Keywords: Home ownership ; job satisfaction ; BHPS ; panel data ; fixed effects
    JEL: J28 R21 C23
    Date: 2013

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