New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒10‒02
four papers chosen by

  1. Pooling and Sharing Income within Households: A Satisfaction Approach By Susanne Elsas
  2. Collective happiness: labor union membership and life satisfaction By Charman, Crawford; Owen, Ann
  3. Fractionalization and Well-Being: Evidence from a new South African data set By Timothy Hinks
  4. Temporary employment, job satisfaction and subjective well-being By Chris Dawson; Michail Veliziotis

  1. By: Susanne Elsas
    Abstract: Standard household economics assumes that couples pool their incomes and share the sum equally, which is a necessary prerequisite for computing equivalent incomes and hence all statements about the distribution of personal incomes and income poverty. However, since cohabitation without marriage is on the rise and since income pooling is less frequent among cohabiting couples, income is also pooled and shared less frequently. In conclusion, statements based on these two assumption are becoming increasingly invalid. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, I analyze the incidence and determinants of income pooling and then proceed to determine whether couples who pool their incomes share the sum equally. In contrast to most existing studies, I use a holistic approach to identify sharing within households by analyzing data on financial satisfaction. Concerning the relation between income sharing and income pooling, I account not only for the dominance of pooling over sharing, but also for the possibility of correlated error terms of the pooling and the sharing equation. A further advancement of this paper is the use of panel data, which enables me to account for unobserved heterogeneity at the household level. The results indicate that the hypothesis of equal sharing even has to be rejected for couples who pool their incomes, which implies that a wide range of analyses of income poverty, for instance, may be misleading.
    Keywords: Income pooling, intra-household allocation, subjective well-being, two-part model
    JEL: D31 I32
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Charman, Crawford; Owen, Ann
    Abstract: Labor union membership is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction in low income countries, but not in high income countries. Evidence suggests that union membership affects life satisfaction in low income countries through better working conditions.
    Keywords: labor unions; life satisfaction; working conditions
    JEL: J5 J8
    Date: 2013–09
  3. By: Timothy Hinks (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper aims to test whether a number of fractionalization variables that capture cultural and economic diversity have any impact on reported satisfaction as well as happiness. Controlling for standard economic and non-economic variables, we test whether (i) ethno-linguistic, (ii) religious and (iii) income fractionalization at the cluster level have any impact on well-being. The findings indicate that income fractionalization consistently predicts lower subjective life satisfaction when the individual's household income is controlled for, and that religious fractionalization is correlated with lower life satisfaction. Ethno-linguistic fractionalization though does not correlate with life satisfaction. Extensions of the model include adding interaction terms which indicate that ethno-linguistic fractionalization is important to specific ethno-linguistic groups.
  4. By: Chris Dawson (School of Management, University of Bath); Michail Veliziotis (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with whether employees on temporary contracts in Britain report lower well-being than those on permanent contracts, and whether this relationship is mechanised by differences in certain aspects of job satisfaction. Previous research has identified a well-being gap between permanent and temporary employees but has not addressed what individual and contract specific characteristics contribute to this observed difference. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), this paper finds that a large proportion of the difference in self-reported well-being between permanent and temporary employees appears to be explained by differences in satisfaction with job security. Other dimensions of job satisfaction are found to be less important. This leads us to believe that an employment contract characterised by a definite duration lowers individual well-being principally through a heightened feeling of job insecurity.
    Keywords: Temporary employment, well-being, job satisfaction
    JEL: J28 J41

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