New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒08‒16
seven papers chosen by

  1. The Objective Benefits of Subjective Well-Being By Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Ed Diener; Louis Tay; Cody Xuereb
  2. Pay Growth, Fairness and Job Satisfaction: Implications for Nominal and Real Wage Rigidity By Smith, Jennifer C
  3. A new perspective on the economic valuation of informal caare: The well-being approach revisited By Konstantin Kehl; Stephan Stahlschmidt; ;
  4. The Effect of Sexual Activity on Wages By Drydakis, Nick
  5. If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands: How Do Mothers and Fathers Really Feel about Child Caregiving? By Connelly, Rachel; Kimmel, Jean
  6. Socioeconomic Progress across the Major Indian states: Converging or Diverging By Goli, Srinivas; Perianayagam , Arokiasamy; Bhemeshawar, Reddy
  7. Simulating future societies in Isobenefit Cities: social isobenefit scenarios By D'Acci, Luca

  1. By: Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Ed Diener; Louis Tay; Cody Xuereb
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to survey the "hard" evidence on the effects of subjective well-being. In doing so, we complement the evidence on the determinants of well-being by showing that human well-being also affects outcomes of interest such as health, income, and social behaviour. Generally, we observe a dynamic relationship between happiness and other important aspects of our lives, with influence running in both directions.
    Keywords: Unemployment, aggregate demand, matching frictions
    JEL: E10 E30 E24 E21
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Smith, Jennifer C (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Theories of wage rigidity often rely on a positive relationship between pay changes and utility, arising from concern for fairness or gift exchange. Supportive evidence has emerged from laboratory experiments, but the link has not yet been established with ?eld data. This paper contributes a ?rst step, using representative British data. Workers care about the level and the growth of earnings. Below-median wage increases lead to an insult e¤ect except when similar workers have real wage reductions or ?rm production is falling. Nominal pay cuts appear insulting even when the ?rm is doing badly.
    Keywords: Pay cuts, Social comparisons, Gift exchange
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Konstantin Kehl; Stephan Stahlschmidt; ;
    Abstract: Informal care has drawn much attention among scholars and policymakers as it concerns an essential but hard to evaluate resource of welfare. Albeit several studies addressed the monetary value of informal care, dierences in the relationship between caregivers and recipients have often been ignored. We report on a profound and formerly unobserved distinction between care in the household and non-household care for a family member or in a voluntary framework. According to our results caregivers within the household perceive care as a burden and a positive shadow price arises. By contrast in the family but non-household context { and especially in the voluntary case { care is (at least partly) understood as an enriching experience which extends well-being and leads to negative shadow prices. This distinction calls a marketized view of informal care into question and may contribute to explaining the limitations of monetary incentive policies to encourage informal care.
    Keywords: informal care, well-being, economic valuation, shadow price
    JEL: D61 I11 I31
    Date: 2013–07
  4. By: Drydakis, Nick (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to estimate whether sexual activity is associated with wages, and also to estimate potential interactions between individuals' characteristics, wages and sexual activity. The central hypothesis behind this research is that sexual activity, like health indicators and mental well-being, may be thought of as part of an individual's set of productive traits that affect wages. Using two stage estimations we examine the relationship between adult sexual activity and wages. We estimate that there is a monotonic relationship between the frequency of sexual activity and wage returns, whilst the returns to sexual activity are higher for those between 26 and 50 years of age. In addition, heterosexuals' sexual activity does not seem to provide higher or lower wage returns than that of homosexuals, but wages are higher for those health-impaired employees who are sexually active. Over-identification tests, robustness checks, falsification tests, as well as, decomposition analysis and sample selection modelling enhance the study's strength. Contemporary social analysis suggests that health, cognitive and non-cognitive skills and personality are important factors that affect the wage level. Sexual activity may also be of interest to social scientists, since sexual activity is considered to be a barometer for health, quality of life, well-being and happiness. The paper adds to the literature on the importance of unobserved characteristics in determining labour market outcomes.
    Keywords: sexual activity, wages, endogeneity, sample selection, decompositions
    JEL: J10 J30 J24
    Date: 2013–07
  5. By: Connelly, Rachel (Bowdoin College); Kimmel, Jean (Western Michigan University)
    Abstract: This paper considers the question posed by popular media, do women like doing child care more than men? Using experienced emotions data paired with 24 hour time diaries from the 2010 American Time Use Survey, the paper explores gender differences in how men and women who have done some child caregiving on the previous day feel when engaged in a set of common daily activities. We find that both men and women enjoy their time in child caregiving, men as much, or even more so, than women as evidenced by their average values for happiness, tiredness, and stress, their predicted values for the same three emotions and via an aggregated statistic, the unpleasantness index. Counter-factual unpleasantness indices provide evidence that difference between men and women come almost completely from differences in their experience emotions rather than from differences in how they use their time.
    Keywords: experienced emotions, gender wage gap, child care, subjective well-being, time use, happiness
    JEL: D13 J13 J16
    Date: 2013–07
  6. By: Goli, Srinivas; Perianayagam , Arokiasamy; Bhemeshawar, Reddy
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the progress in socioeconomic conditions across the major states of India by using convergence hypothesis. Earlier studies that examined regional disparities of development used per capita State Net Domestic Product (SNDP) as an important proxy for assessing human well-being. This study attempts a more comprehensive assessment of socioeconomic convergence in terms of critical indicators of economic inequality, poverty ratios, literacy rate and Human Development Index (HDI) along with per capita SNDP. The results reveal that in the period between 1981 and 2011, statistically significant absolute and conditional Beta (β)-convergence in literacy rates and HDI have been observed but only conditional β-convergence has been evident in case of per capita SNDP and poverty ratios. β-convergence estimates for the recent period (post-2001) show, a divergence in per capita SNDP and poverty ratios but convergence in literacy rates and HDI. Kernel density plots for socioeconomic indicators show the existence of convergence clubs but not absolute convergence among all the major states. Thus, this study suggests that use of the non-parametric convergence measures is crucial to gain more clear insights on socioeconomic progress and to identify the short-term divergent paths.
    Keywords: Convergence, Divergence, Socioeconomic progress, India
    JEL: N95 R1 R11
    Date: 2013–06–01
  7. By: D'Acci, Luca
    Abstract: Environment, history and chance, shape people and cultures, which shape cities, which shape people and cultures, and so on, in a Systemic Retroactive Game. The quintessential essence of Isotropic (or Isobenefit) Urbanism is to solve Systemic Retroactive Game problems downstream rather than upstream and, also, to give a beautiful city to everyone, rather than just to the richer. Spatial Equilibrium assumptions, Underground Hedonic Theory and Isobenefit Lines, are shortly reminded in order to have a better vision of the Isotropic approach. The Isotropic City is the habitat of a virtual future society that aspires to live in a city where each individual can enjoy an equal level of wellbeing and advantage from the urban quality, services and job location. It is shown by a few visionary examples of virtual future societies habitats such as the Ring City (a city without the ‘city centre’, where the ‘city centre’ is all around the peripherical ring, or in a serial of rings), the Homogeneous City (a city where the ‘city centre’ is everywhere), the Annulus City (a city without any geometrical centre in the city) and the Punctiform City (an interconnected net of urban hyperdense ‘points’ throughout nature, parks and lands). Finally I will show some simulations on more realistic cases which could be of interest as support to urban and public policies in respect to a social wellbeing point of view as well as to urban theory such as urban economy (i.e., by the relation between an Isobenefit scenario and Property value), urban morphology (influence of different urban forms), urban sociology (how different location of centralities and amenities give advantage for social life and wellbeing of citizens).
    Keywords: Spatial Equilibrium, Urban Quality of Life, Urban Amenities and Centralities, Ideal City, Systemic Retroactive Game, Psycho-Economical Distance.
    JEL: R0 R12 R14 R38 R40 R52 R58
    Date: 2013–08–09

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