New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒06‒24
five papers chosen by

  1. Poverty and Well-Being: Panel Evidence from Germany By Andrew E. Clark; Conchita D’Ambrosio; Simone Ghislandi
  2. Does Food Consumption Away From Home Make You Happier ? By Chang, Hung-Hao
  3. Are You Unhappy Having Minority Co-Workers? By Haile, Getinet Astatike
  4. Economic Consequences of Mispredicting Utility By Frey, Bruno S.; Stutzer, Alois
  5. Measuring Well-Being: W3 Indicators to Complement GDP By Marco Giesselmann; Richard Hilmer; Nico A. Siegel; Gert G. Wagner

  1. By: Andrew E. Clark (Paris School of Economics - CNRS); Conchita D’Ambrosio (Università di Milano-Bicocca, DIW Berlin and Econpubblica); Simone Ghislandi (Università Bocconi and Econpubblica)
    Abstract: We consider the link between poverty and subjective well-being, and focus in particular on the role of time. We use panel data on 42,500 individuals living in Germany from 1992 to 2010 to uncover four empirical relationships. First, life satisfaction falls with both the incidence and intensity of contemporaneous poverty. There is no evidence of adaptation within a poverty spell: poverty starts bad and stays bad in terms of subjective well-being. Third, poverty scars: those who have been poor in the past report lower life satisfaction today, even when out of poverty. Last, the order of poverty spells matters: for a given number of poverty spells, satisfaction is lower when the spells are concatenated: poverty persistence reduces well-being. These effects differ by population subgroups.
    Keywords: Income, Poverty, Subjective well-being, SOEP.
    JEL: I31 D60
    Date: 2013–03
  2. By: Chang, Hung-Hao
    Abstract: Due to the increased share of food consumption away from (FAFH) on overall household food expenditure, a considerable body of literature has examined the impacts of FAFH on diet quality and physical health. A conventional wisdom is that FAFH is associated with poor diet quality, and it also increases the likelihood of being overweight. However, not much attention has been paid to the association between FAFH and mental health of the individual. Since mental health is as important as physical health, a better understanding of the effect of FAFH on mental health is crucial for policy making. This study contributes to this knowledge gap by assessing the causal effect of FAFH on elderly depression using a national representative dataset of elderly in Taiwan. Results indicate that elderly who consumed food away from home is more likely to be depressed by 34% compared to their counterparts of FAFH non-participants, after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics and other factors.
    Keywords: Food Consumption Away From Home (FAFH), Depression, Elderly, Taiwan., Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety,
    Date: 2013–08–04
  3. By: Haile, Getinet Astatike (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: This paper attempts to establish empirically whether natives' job satisfaction is adversely affected by having minority co-worker(s). The paper uses nationally representative linked employer-employee data and eight different facets of job satisfaction. Measuring minority co-worker status at the workplace- and occupation-level and employing alternative econometric estimators; the paper finds that on average natives' experience a reduction in job satisfaction due to having minority co-worker(s). The effect found is larger if the co-worker-ship is at the occupation-level.
    Keywords: discrimination, job-related well-being, linked employer-employee data, Britain
    JEL: J7 J15 J82 I31
    Date: 2013–05
  4. By: Frey, Bruno S. (University of Zurich); Stutzer, Alois (University of Basel)
    Abstract: In a simple conceptual framework, we organize a multitude of phenomena related to the (mis)prediction of utility. Consequences in terms of distorted choices and lower wellbeing emerge if people have to trade-off between alternatives that are characterized by attributes satisfying extrinsic desires and alternatives serving intrinsic needs. Thereby the neglect of asymmetries in adaptation is proposed as an important driver. The theoretical analysis is consistent with econometric evidence on commuting choice using data on subjective well-being. People show substantial adaptation to a higher labor income but not to commuting. This may account for the finding that people are not compensated for the burden of commuting.
    Keywords: adaptation, extrinsic/intrinsic attributes, individual decision-making, misprediction, subjective well-being, time allocation
    JEL: A12 D11 D12 D84 I31 J22
    Date: 2013–05
  5. By: Marco Giesselmann; Richard Hilmer; Nico A. Siegel; Gert G. Wagner
    Abstract: Numerous people in Germany, including politicians and researchers, believe that the gross domestic product (GDP) is an outdated indicator of a society’s prosperity. Therefore, at the end of 2010, the German Bundestag, the federal parliament, established a study commission (Enquete-Kommission) tasked with developing an alternative to the GDP for measuring growth, prosperity, and quality of life. This commission has now submitted a proposal: to supplement the GDP with nine additional indicators, including a wide range of factors such as the distribution of income, biodiversity, and life expectancy. The ten indicators cover three dimensions of well-being—economy, ecology, and social wealth—and hence are called W3 Indicators. Replacing the gross domestic product by a single alternative index was rejected by the commission, however, since it is not possible to reduce citizens’ very different wishes and expectations to “a common denominator.” A representative survey of registered voters conducted by DIW Berlin and TNS Infratest shows that citizens consider the indicators proposed by the commission to be important. Respondents ranked preserving “democracy and freedom” as the most relevant indicator and “further increasing life expectancy” as the least relevant. The average per capita income – as an indicator of the gross domestic product – is the second least relevant factor as far as registered voters in Germany are concerned. However, the study also shows that opinions on the importance of different indicators vary widely. Moreover, there are systematic differences in the relevance of various policy areas for different social groups.
    Keywords: ratswd, ratswd working paper, data sharing, data management, germany, data availability, open access, research infrastructure, data, replication, data privacy, research data centre, infrastructure, GDP, BIP, quality of life, TNS Infratest, SOEP, W3 indicators, GDP and beyond
    JEL: B59 D63 H11 I32
    Date: 2013

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