New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒07‒20
three papers chosen by

  1. Does economic prosperity bring about a happier society? Mathematical remarks on the Easterlin Paradox debate By Beja Jr, Edsel
  2. An empirical investigation into the determinants and persistence of different types of subjective well-being By Chrostek, Pawel
  3. Sociability, Altruism and Subjective Well-Being. By Becchetti, Leonardo; Corrado, Luisa; Conzo, Pierluigi

  1. By: Beja Jr, Edsel
    Abstract: The Easterlin Paradox—the perceived absence of a relationship between economic progress and happiness—is one of the most important continuing debates in economics. Yet, both sides of the extant debate are anchored on valid mathematical arguments. The preponderance of evidence is therefore necessary to resolve the Easterlin Paradox.
    Keywords: Easterlin Paradox; economic growth; income; time; happiness
    JEL: A1 B40 C02 D00 E0 E00 I30 O40
    Date: 2013–07–12
  2. By: Chrostek, Pawel
    Abstract: A comparison of three measures of subjective well-being indicates two areas of difference. First, life evaluation is less dependent on external circumstances than evaluation of the past year. Temporary changes in health, labor market status and income have a smaller impact on life evaluation than on evaluation of the past year. Second, measures concerning the whole life exhibit a significant positive relation between current and past levels of well-being, but there is no such relation in case of evaluation of the past year. Moreover, external factors have a greater impact on the emotional dimension of life evaluation than on cognitive.
    Keywords: hedonic adaptation, subjective well-being, determinants of happiness
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2013–05
  3. By: Becchetti, Leonardo; Corrado, Luisa; Conzo, Pierluigi (University of Turin)
    Abstract: We provide non experimental evidence of the relevance of sociability on subjective wellbeing by investigating the determinants of life satisfaction on a large sample of Europeans aged above 50. We document that voluntary work, religious attendance, helping friends/neighbours and participation to community-related organizations affect positively and significantly life satisfaction. We illustrate the different impact that some sociability variables have on eudaimonic versus cognitive measures of subjective wellbeing. Our empirical findings discriminate among other regarding and self-regarding preferences as rationales explaining such behaviour. We document that different combinations between actions and motivations have different impact on life satisfaction thereby providing support for the relevance of these specific “contingent goods” and to the literature of procedural utility. Our findings are confirmed in robustness checks including refinements of the dependent variable, instrumental variables and sensitivity an alysis on departures from the exogeneity assumption.
    Date: 2013–05

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