New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒03‒22
nine papers chosen by

  1. Longitudinal Evidence for a Midlife Nadir in Human Well-being: Results from Four Data Sets By Cheng, Terence C.; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Oswald, Andrew J.
  2. Reference-Dependent Effects of Unemployment on Mental Well-Being By Martina Grunow
  3. Dissatisfied with Life or with Being Interviewed? Happiness and Motivation to Participate in a Survey By Adrian Chadi
  4. Crime and Mental Wellbeing By Cornaglia, Francesca; Feldman, Naomi E.; Leigh, Andrew
  5. The Long-Term Effects of Building Strong Families: A Program for Unmarried Parents. By Robert G. Wood; Quinn Moore; rew Clarkwest; Alexandra Killewald
  6. Global Oriental Management: Transforming Capitalism and Maximizing Well-Being through Value-Oriented Leadership, Smart Marketing, Social Innovation and Sustainable Business Development By Josep Maria Coll
  7. Do Large Governments Decrease Happiness? By Sequeira, Tiago; Minas, Tiago; Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra
  8. Gender Role Identity, Breadwinner Status and Psychological Well-being in the Household By Heather Brown; Jennifer Roberts
  9. Pathways from jobs to social cohesion By Wietzke, Frank-Borge

  1. By: Cheng, Terence C. (University of Melbourne); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (London School of Economics and Political Science); Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: There is a large amount of cross-sectional evidence for a midlife low in the life cycle of human happiness and well-being (a ‘U shape’). Yet no genuinely longitudinal inquiry has uncovered evidence for a U-shaped pattern. Thus some researchers believe the U is a statistical artefact. We re-examine this fundamental cross-disciplinary question. We suggest a new test. Drawing on four data sets, and only within-person changes in well-being, we document powerful support for a U-shape in unadjusted longitudinal data without the need for regression equations. The paper’s methodological contribution is to exploit the first-derivative properties of a well-being equation.
    Keywords: Life-cycle happiness, subjective well-being, longitudinal study, U shape
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Martina Grunow
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of reference-dependent effects of unemployment on mental well-being. We show that the negative effect of unemployment on mental well-being depends on expectations about the future employment status. Several contributions to the literature have shown that the perception of the individual employment status depends on the surrounding unemployment rate. We argue that expectations are a possible link between unemployment rates and the individual employment status regarding changes in mental well-being. Theoretical foundation comes from models for reference-dependent preferences with endogenous reference points. We provide a simple theoretical model to motivate and structure the empirical analysis. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we estimate a pairwise interacted model for employment status and expectations over two time periods. Life satisfaction is used as a proxy for mental well-being. To identify a causal effect of unemployment, expectations and their interactions on mental wellbeing, the analysis relies on fixed effects and exogenous entries into unemployment due to plant closures. We confirm the standard result that unemployment has a negative effect on mental well-being. Furthermore, the results deliver empirical evidence for reference-dependent effects of unemployment on mental well-being. We find that becoming unemployed unexpectedly is more severe as if the unemployment was expected. Therefore, this paper contributes to the understanding of how mental well-being is affected by unemployment and delivers empirical support for the theoretical models of reference-dependent preference wit endogenous reference points determined by expectations.
    Keywords: Subjective Well-Being, Unemployment, Reference-Dependence, Reference Points
    JEL: C23 D03 D84 I10 I18 J01 J60
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Adrian Chadi
    Abstract: Information on the number of interviewer contacts allows insights into how people’s responses to questions on happiness are connected to the difficulty of reaching potential participants. Using the paradata of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), this paper continues such research by revealing a strong link between respondent motivation and reported happiness. Analyses of responses by future non-respondents substantiate this finding and shed light on a key question for empirical research on subjective well-being, which is whether the unhappy tend to avoid survey participation or whether the unwilling might respond more negatively when being asked about their satisfaction with life.
    Keywords: Happiness, Respondent motivation, Measurement bias, Life satisfaction, Panel attrition, Interviewer contacts
    JEL: C8 I3
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Cornaglia, Francesca (Queen Mary, University of London); Feldman, Naomi E. (Federal Reserve Board); Leigh, Andrew (Australian National University)
    Abstract: We provide empirical evidence of crime's impact on the mental wellbeing of both victims and non-victims. We differentiate between the direct impact to victims and the indirect impact to society due to the fear of crime. The results show a decrease in mental wellbeing after violent crime victimization and that the violent crime rate has a negative impact on mental wellbeing of non-victims. Property crime victimization and property crime rates show no such comparable impact. Finally, we estimate that society-wide compensation due to increasing the crime rate by one victim is about 80 times more than the direct impact on the victim.
    Keywords: crime, mental wellbeing, neighbourhood effects, non-victims
    JEL: I31 R28
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Robert G. Wood; Quinn Moore; rew Clarkwest; Alexandra Killewald
    Keywords: Child Well-Being, Coparenting, Fatherhood, Low-Income Families, Marriage Education, Relationship Education
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–04–30
  6. By: Josep Maria Coll (Dr. Josep Coll, Senior Expert and Project Evaluator for the European Commission in Economic Development)
    Abstract: Business needs to unleash its full potential to contribute to social and environmental challenges, and to increase global well-being. A simple idea that still clashes with mainstream capitalism and its ‗business as usual‘ practices. Grounded in indigenous oriental knowledge, this paper uncovers a comprehensive holistic human-centered worldview that drives higher purpose maximization through sustainable business and management development. Taoist Yin-Yang and the Five Elements theories, along with Zen Buddhism main principles and western-based management models, provide a comprehensive framework to lead conscious businesses through value-oriented strategies. They coach a balanced relationship among corporate‘s dynamic processes putting leadership, marketing, innovation and finance at the service of a spiritual-wise business model. This is devoted exclusively to lead organizational transformation, marketing social change and render positive externalities. This paper is not only about showing that there is more to business than making money, it rather seeks to bring to the debate the personal, organisational and systemic transformational power of business when it is based in values and human-centred models that raw upon ancient human knowledge.
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Sequeira, Tiago; Minas, Tiago; Ferreira-Lopes, Alexandra
    Abstract: Until now there was little evidence of the influence of large governments on happiness and when it existed, it was positive. We show that structural government consumption and other measures of long-term government imbalances significantly decrease happiness and life satisfaction in European countries. In some cases there is evidence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between the Government burden and happiness, for which the negative relationship begin just before the median. This evidence may lead European politicians to reject the idea that bigger Governments lead to higher people satisfaction and to win elections. This result is consistent with people valuing (negatively) expectations for future tax increases, macroeconomic imbalances, and austerity.
    Keywords: Happiness; Life Satisfaction; Government Size; Fiscal Deficits; Public Debt; Europe
    JEL: C21 D60 H30 I31 O52
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Heather Brown (Institute of Health and Society, Newcastle University, UK); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield, UK)
    Abstract: It is only recently that the psychological concept of identity has entered economic discourse. This paper is concerned with an important aspect of social identity - gender roles within couples. We explore the extent to which compliance with this identity influences individual utility. We consider gender roles and attitudes in a sample from the British Household Panel Survey, within a framework that controls for individual heterogeneity. Our work offers some support for the identity model. Women in 'traditional' marriages who accept this role have improved well-being. In couples with 'modern' views, women who earn more than their husbands and still have to do most of the domestic work, have lower well-being; this persists if they work part-time and if they report no time pressures. Men who hold traditional views have lower well-being if their wives work; and men who hold modern views on gender roles only have higher well-being if their wives are the higher earner but only work part-time. Our results have implications for the validity of traditional household bargaining models which are largely gender neutral.
    Keywords: social identity; gender roles; household; well-being; panel data
    JEL: D1 J16 Z13
    Date: 2014–03
  9. By: Wietzke, Frank-Borge
    Abstract: There is growing recognition that access to good jobs is an important driver of social cohesion. While economic dimensions of labor market outcomes are relatively well documented, evidence on the link between social cohesion and jobs is still surprisingly scarce. This paper, based on an earlier background report for the WDR 2013, presents empirical evidence for pathways between labor market outcomes and social cohesion. The findings indicate that formal employment is associated with a range of social outcomes and behaviors that are typically associated with higher levels of social cohesion. However, there are also indications that this relationship varies across dimensions of social wellbeing. In particular social interactions and political activism among those in regular employment can either improve the quality of aggregate institutions or deepen existing social divides.
    Keywords: Labor Policies,Labor Markets,Population Policies,Markets and Market Access,Housing&Human Habitats
    Date: 2014–03–01

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