New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒03‒30
five papers chosen by

  1. Evaluating Alternatives to GDP as Measures of Social Welfare/Progress By Jeroen van den Bergh; Miklós Antal
  2. Vulnerabili e appassionati. Sui fondamenti antropologici della scienza economica By Nicolò Bellanca
  3. When police patrols matter. The effect of police proximity on citizens’ crime risk perception By Daniel Montolio; Simón Planells-Struse
  4. Effect of Sexual Orientation on Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Greece By Drydakis, Nick
  5. The role of urban green space for human well-being By Christine Bertram; Katrin Rehdanz

  1. By: Jeroen van den Bergh; Miklós Antal
    Abstract: Proposed alternatives to GDP as a measure of social welfare or human progress are briefly evaluated. Four main categories are considered, namely ISEW and GPI based on corrections of GDP, sustainable or green(ed) GDP, genuine savings/investments and composite indexes. All these alternatives turn out to suffer from various shortcomings. Nevertheless, several of them represent a considerable improvement over GDP information in approximating social welfare. This gives support to the idea that we should not wait to give less importance and attention to GDP (per capita) information in public decision-making until a perfect alternative indicator is available.
    Keywords: Composite indicators; economic growth; externalities; genuine savings; green GDP; happiness; informal sector; information failure; ISEW; status goods; sustainable income
    JEL: D60 E01 O11
    Date: 2014–03
  2. By: Nicolò Bellanca (Università degli Studi di Firenze)
    Abstract: Without the passions there would be little reason to act at all. Nevertheless, in standard economic models human action is driven solely by self-interest: the passions are supposed to interfere with our ability to form rational beliefs and to make rational choices. In fact, any action originated and nurtured by passions places its own raison d’être in itself. The acts motivated by passions can either improve or (even) worsen one’s wellbeing: there might not be any payoff in both the present and the future, and monetary incentives do not influence or mitigate their nature. Above all, under the influence of the passions, the actor does not calculate but instead “loses control”. This paper argues against the separation of passion-infused intimate relations and economic theory through a reconsideration of the anthropological conception of the economics.
    Keywords: Passions; Rational-choice explanation; Economics; Intentionality; Individualism.
    JEL: A12 D89 P17 Z13
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Daniel Montolio (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB); Simón Planells-Struse (Universitat de Barcelona & IEB)
    Abstract: Crime risk perception is known to be an important determinant of individual well-being. It is therefore crucial that we understand the factors affecting this perception so that governments can identify the (public) policies that might reduce it. Among such policies, public resources devoted to policing emerge as a key instrument not only for tackling criminal activity but also for impacting on citizens’ crime risk perception. In this framework, the aim of this study is to analyze both the individual and neighbourhood determinants of citizens’ crime risk perception in the City of Barcelona (Spain) focusing on the effect of police proximity and taking into account the spatial aspects of neighbourhood characteristics. After controlling for the possible problems of the endogeneity of police forces and crime risk perception and the potential sorting of individuals across neighbourhoods, the results indicate that crime risk perception is reduced when non-victims exogenously interact with police forces. Moreover, neighbourhood variables, such as proxies of social capital and the level of incivilities, together with individual characteristics have an impact on citizens’ crime risk perception.
    Keywords: Crime risk perception, police forces, multilevel ordered logit model
    JEL: C21 H50 K42
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Drydakis, Nick (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Abstract: This study investigates the differences in four aspects of job satisfaction between gay men/lesbians and heterosexuals. The analysis results suggest that gay men and lesbians are less satisfied with their jobs, by all job satisfaction measures, than heterosexual employees, all other factors being held constant. Gay men and lesbians who have disclosed their sexual orientation at their present job are more satisfied with their jobs than those who have not. In addition, gay men and lesbians who disclosed their sexual orientation at their current workplace longer ago are more satisfied with their jobs than gay men and lesbians who disclosed their sexual orientation more recently. Moreover, adverse mental health symptoms have the same negative impact on employees' job satisfaction regardless of sexual orientation. Furthermore, gay men and lesbians receive lower wages than comparable heterosexual employees. Whilst, the wage gap due to sexual orientation is greater in the group of very dissatisfied men than in the group of very satisfied men, and gay men and lesbians who have disclosed their sexual orientation at their present job receive lower wages than those who have not, but they still have higher levels of job satisfaction. It seems that the effect of disclosure on job satisfaction is the net effect of the connections between disclosure and job satisfaction.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, sexual orientation
    JEL: J28 C93 J7 J16 J31 J42 J64 J71
    Date: 2014–03
  5. By: Christine Bertram; Katrin Rehdanz
    Abstract: Most people in Europe live in urban environments. For these people, urban green space is an important element of well-being, but it is often in short supply. We use self-reported information on life satisfaction and different individual green space measures to explore how urban green space affects the well-being of the residents of Berlin, the capital city of Germany. We combine spatially explicit survey data with spatially highly disaggregated GIS data on urban green spaces. We observe a significant, inverted U-shaped effect of the amount of and distance to urban green space on life satisfaction. According to our results, the optimal amount of green space in a 1 km buffer is 36 ha, or 11.5% of the buffer area, and 75% of the respondents have less green space available. Our results are robust to a number of robustness checks
    Keywords: life satisfaction, urban ecosystem services, urban green space, well-being
    JEL: I31 Q51 Q57 R00
    Date: 2014–03

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