nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2013‒11‒22
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Effect of Local Area Crime on Mental Health By Dustmann, Christian; Fasani, Francesco
  2. Temporary Contracts and Young Workers' Job Satisfaction in Italy By Bruno, Giovanni S. F.; Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Dessy, Orietta
  3. Don’t Worry, Be Happy: The Welfare Cost of Climate Variability – A Subjective Well-Being Approach By Yonas Alem; Jonathan Colmer
  4. Intergenerational Effects of Disability Benefits - Evidence from Canadian Social Assistance Programs By Chen, Kelly; Osberg, Lars; Phipps, Shelley

  1. By: Dustmann, Christian (University College London); Fasani, Francesco (Queen Mary, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the effect of local crime rates on the mental well-being of residents. Our identification strategy addresses the problem of sorting, and endogenous moving behaviour. We find that crime causes considerable mental distress of residents, and that these effects are mainly driven by property crime. However, individuals react also to violent crime, in particular in areas individuals may be exposed to when following their daily routines, such as travel to work. Local crime creates more distress for females, and is mainly related to depression and anxiety. The impact on mental well-being is large: We find that the increase in mental distress following a one standard deviation increase in local crime is about 2-4 times as large as that caused by a one standard deviation decrease in local employment, and about one seventh of the effect experienced by in the direct aftermath of the London Bombings of Jul 7th, 2005.
    Keywords: neighbourhood effects, mental wellbeing, fear of crime
    JEL: I18 K42 R23
    Date: 2013–11
  2. By: Bruno, Giovanni S. F. (Bocconi University); Caroleo, Floro Ernesto (University of Naples Parthenope); Dessy, Orietta (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: The Italian process of flexibilization of the labour market has created a dual market populated by protected permanent employees and unprotected temporary workers. The latter comprises not only temporary employment relationships but also autonomous collaborations used by firms as low-cost de facto temporary employment relationships. Little is known about the quality of these temporary jobs, particularly widespread among young workers. We estimate a regression model of perceived overall job satisfaction of young workers, based on the ISFOL-PLUS 2006-2008-2010 panel. We control for the various temporary contracts and for perceived satisfactions in nine aspects of the job. We find that lack of job stability is the most serious cause of lower satisfaction for both temporary employees and autonomous collaborators. But while temporary employees compensate concerns of job stability with other job aspects, attaining satisfaction levels comparable to those of permanent employees, autonomous collaborators do not and are thus significantly the least satisfied.
    Keywords: flexicurity, job satisfaction, de facto temporary employment
    JEL: J28 J81
    Date: 2013–11
  3. By: Yonas Alem; Jonathan Colmer
    Abstract: Using a household panel data set in rural Ethiopia combined with a new data set containing daily atmospheric parameters, we are able to show that increased climate variability reduces the level of a farmer’s subjective assessment of their individual well-being. Resulting from the impact that climate variability has on uncertainty about future income, those living in riskier areas report lower life satisfaction than those living in more stable environments. The magnitude of our result indicates that a one standard deviation increase in climate variability has an equivalent e?ect on life satisfaction to a two standard deviation (1-2%) decrease in real consumption expenditure per capita. Out of all of the determinants examined, this e?ect is shown to be one of the largest determinants of life satisfaction in rural Ethiopia. Robustness tests demonstrate the resilience of our results and help to disentangle the e?ects of climate variability from weather e?ects. They also help to draw out the mechanism by which climate variability impacts life satisfaction. We also demonstrate, using a second panel data set in urban Ethiopia, that increased climate variability has no impact on subjective well-being for urban households. In light of the resilience and magnitude of our result, policies that reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture, improve farmers’ ability to deal with climatic risk, and provide credible insurance are likely to be welfare-enhancing.
    Date: 2013–07
  4. By: Chen, Kelly; Osberg, Lars; Phipps, Shelley
    Abstract: Using Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY), this paper presents the first evidence on whether increased disability benefits reduce the negative consequences of parental disability on children’s well-being. Using a continuous difference-in-differences (DD) approach, we analyze whether gaps in developmental outcomes between children of disabled and non-disabled parents vary with the benefit level. We find strong evidence that higher parental disability benefits lead to improvements in children's cognitive functioning and non-cognitive development, as measured by math scores in standardized tests, and hyperactive and emotional anxiety symptoms. The effect is larger on children with a disabled mother than on those with a disabled father - which is consistent with the “good mother hypothesis†that a mother’s income is more likely than a father’s to be spent in ways that benefit the children.
    Keywords: Disability Benefits, Child Well-Being, Welfare, Intergenerational Transmission
    JEL: J1 J6 I38
    Date: 2013–07–30

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