nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒07‒05
eleven papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
University of Milano-Bicocca

  2. Looking Back in Anger?: Retirement and Unemployment Scarring By Clemens Hetschko; Andreas Knabe; Ronnie Schöb
  3. Life Satisfaction of Immigrants: Does Cultural Assimilation Matter? By Viola Angelini; Laura Casi; Luca Corazzini
  4. Optimism, Job Satisfaction and Self-Employment By Dawson, C G
  5. Did the Economic Crisis have Impacts on the Health and Well-being of Ireland's Older People? By Barrett, Alan; O'Sullivan, Vincent
  6. Examining the Relationships between Labour Market Mismatches, Earnings and Job Satisfaction among Immigrant Graduates in Europe By McGuinness, Seamus; Byrne, Delma
  7. The Inclusive Wealth Index. A Sustainability Indicator, Really? By Géraldine Thiry; Philippe Roman
  8. When more does not necessarily mean better: Health-related illfare comparisons with non-monotone welbeing relationship By Mauricio Apablaza; Florent Bresson; Gaston Yalonetzky
  9. Proactive Orientation And Individual Activism As Causes Of Personal Achievement And Subjective Well-Being By Dmytro Khutkyy
  10. What Can Life Satisfaction Data Tell Us about Discrimination against Sexual Minorities? A Structural Equation Model for Australia and the United Kingdom* By Nattavudh Powdthavee; Mark Wooden
  11. Happiness matters: the role of well-being in productivity By DiMaria, Charles Henri; Peroni, Chiara; Sarracino, Francesco

  1. By: Antonella Rita Ferrara; Rosanna Nisticò (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: The interest for the measurement of well-being has been increasing among scholars and major international institutions. This paper proposes a synthetic index for ten dimensions of well-being combining a set of 57 variables at the Italian regional level and an overall indicator of well-being by implementing a principal component analysis. We also investigate sigma-convergence and gamma-convergence across Italian regions over the period 2004-2010. We find that the regional well-being divide in Italy is, at least, as relevant as the economic divide, suggesting the importance of paying much more attention in public policies and academic debates to the quality-of-life features of the Italian scene. The analysis in terms of sigma-convergence shows that the Italian regions tend to become more similar over time, both in terms of per-capita GDP and well-being, even if a gradual slowing-down of this process can be observed in recent years. Conversely, there is no evidence of intra-distributional mobility of the Italian regions over the entire distribution (gamma-convergence) for either per-capita GDP or the well-being index.
    Keywords: well-being indicators, s-convergence, ?-convergence, principal component analysis, Italy, regions
    JEL: D63 I31 O18 R11
    Date: 2014–06
  2. By: Clemens Hetschko; Andreas Knabe; Ronnie Schöb
    Abstract: Previous studies find that past unemployment reduces life satisfaction even after reemployment for non-monetary reasons (unemployment scarring). It is not clear, however, whether this scarring is only caused by employment-related factors, such as worsened working conditions, or increased future uncertainty as regards income and employment. Using German panel data, we identify non-employment-related scarring by examining the transition of unemployed people to retirement as a life event after which employment-related scarring does not matter anymore. We find evidence for non-employment-related non-monetary unemployment scarring for people who were unemployed for the first time in their life directly prior to retirement, but not for people with earlier unemployment experiences.
    Keywords: Unemployment scarring, life satisfaction, retirement
    JEL: I31 J26
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Viola Angelini; Laura Casi; Luca Corazzini
    Abstract: We empirically assess the relationship between cultural assimilation and subjective well-being of immigrants by using the German Socio-Economic Panel, a longitudinal dataset including information on both the economic and non-economic conditions of the respondents. We find that the more immigrants identify with the German culture and fluently speak the national language, the more they report to be satisfied with their lives. This result is robust to several potential confounding factors, including a large number of individual variables (demographic, educational, social, economic and health), labour market outcomes and the external social conditions of the immigrant.
    Keywords: assimilation, identity, life-satisfaction, immigration
    JEL: J15 I31 Z10 F22
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Dawson, C G
    Abstract: Using UK data from 1991 to 2008 this paper investigates whether excessive optimism affects individual level self-employed job satisfaction. Within the context of this paper, excessive optimism refers to the inclination to overestimate the probability of good financial outcomes. Evidence is provided that conditional on self-employed performance, optimism is negatively and significantly associated with self-employed job satisfaction, especially satisfaction with pay. Moreover the detrimental effects of optimism on satisfaction are larger in self-employment than in paid-employment. The results indicate that the higher levels of satisfaction obtained by the self-employed do not result from the self-selection of optimists, suggesting previous studies may underestimate the positive effects of self-employment on utility.
    Keywords: optimism; self-employment; job satisfaction; expectations
    Date: 2014–04–15
  5. By: Barrett, Alan; O'Sullivan, Vincent
    Keywords: crisis/impacts/Ireland/older
    Date: 2014–04
  6. By: McGuinness, Seamus; Byrne, Delma
    Abstract: This paper uses graduate survey data and econometric methods to estimate the incidence and wage/job satisfaction effects of over-education and overskilling among immigrants graduating from EU 15 based universities in 2005. Female immigrants with shorter durations of domicile were found to have a higher likelihood of overskilling. Newly arrived immigrants incurred wage penalties? which were exacerbated by additional penalties resulting from overskilling in the male labour market and overeducation in the female labour market. Established immigrants were found to enjoy wage premia, particularly within the male labour market, with no evidence of disproportionate wage impacts arising as a consequence of mismatch. Female immigrants were generally found to have a significantly lower probability of being job satisfied relative to native female graduates.
    Date: 2014–06
  7. By: Géraldine Thiry (Le Collège d'études mondiales/FMSH - Fondation Maison des sciences de l'homme); Philippe Roman (IHEAL - Institut des Hautes Études de l'Amérique latine - Université Paris III - Sorbonne nouvelle)
    Abstract: Among recent high-profile propositions to revise national accounts and to provide new indicators of sustainability and well-being, the Inclusive Wealth Framework and the related Inclusive Wealth Index (thereafter IWI), first released during the "Rio+20" Conference, undoubtedly stand out as the most promising endeavour. Built up at the confluence of welfare, development and sustainability economics, the indicator is supposed to bring information about the wealth of nations and their sustainability, in a comprehensive way. The inclusive wealth framework is nevertheless fraught with limitations, due to questionable theoretical assumptions and gaps in data availability. We propose a critical appraisal of the index and its underlying framework. Our conclusion is that these limitations undermine its capacity to reach the goals it was given, and to fulfill the requirements of a satisfactory sustainability indicator. Special emphasis is put on the misleading pretension of (neoclassical) economics to handle highly complex, uncertain and manifold issues, even on theoretical bases renovated by dropping some optimality assumptions. We briefly sketch alternative research avenues, that appear more conducive to the endorsement of strong sustainability, and less prone to economism. Alleged theoretical consistency and elegance should not beguile us when choosing indicators for sustainable and prosperous societies.
    Keywords: inclusive wealth; sustainability; well-being; indicators; green accounting
    Date: 2014–06–01
  8. By: Mauricio Apablaza (OPHI - Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative - Oxford University Press Office); Florent Bresson (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans); Gaston Yalonetzky (University of Leeds - University of Leeds)
    Abstract: Most welfare studies are based on the assumption that wellbeing is monotonically related to the variables used for the analysis. While this assumption can be regarded as reasonable for many dimensions of wellbeing like income, education, or empowerment, there are some cases where it is definitively not relevant, in particular with respect to health. For instance, health status is often proxied using the Body Mass Index (BMI). Low BMI values can capture undernutrition or the incidence of severe illness, yet a high BMI is neither desirable as it indicates obesity. Usual illfare indices derived from poverty measurement are then not appropriate. This paper proposes illfare indices that are consistent with some situations of non-monotonic wellbeing relationships and examines the partial orderings of different distributions derived from various classes of illfare indices. An illustration is provided for health-related illfare as proxied by the BMI and weight-for-age indicators using DHS data for Bangladesh during the period 1997-2007. It is shown inter alia that the gains from the decline of undernutrition for Bangladeshi mothers are undermined by the rapid increase of obesity.
    Keywords: Illfare comparisons ; poverty measurement ; stochastic dominance ; monotonicity ; Bangladesh ; Nutrition transition
    Date: 2014–06–25
  9. By: Dmytro Khutkyy (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this research the causal influences among proactive orientation, individual activism, personal achievement, and subjective well-being in the world as a whole and in three world-system zones based on the 5th wave World Values Survey dataset are examined. To test the first and second hypotheses, structural equation modeling in MPlus 6.12 was conducted. The SEM modeling results for the entire sample are the following. Hypothesis 1 was fully confirmed: 1) person’s high proactive orientation leads to intense individual activism, which promotes high level of personal achievement and thus contributes to higher subjective well-being. Hypothesis 2 was only partially confirmed: 2.1) person’s proactive orientation does have a direct influence on personal achievement; 2.2) however, proactive orientation and individual activism have a direct though tiny influence on subjective well-being. To examine the third hypothesis, a multiple group analysis in MPlus 6.12 was performed. The comparison of regression coefficients for the three world-system zones generated these findings. Hypothesis 3 was rejected: 3.1) there are relatively small differences between the degrees of influence of proactive orientation on individual activism, of individual activism on personal achievement, and of individual activism on subjective well-being in the three world-system zones; 3.2) the positive influence of person’s personal achievement on subjective well-being is the strongest in the periphery and is weaker in the semiperiphery and core; 3.3) moreover, the degree of positive direct influence of person’s proactive orientation on personal achievement and total influence on subjective well-being is the strongest in the semiperiphery and is weaker in the periphery and core
    Keywords: proactive orientation, individual activism, personal achievement, subjective well-being, inequality, modern world-system
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Nattavudh Powdthavee (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Mark Wooden (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)
    Abstract: Very little is known about how the differential treatment of sexual minorities could influence subjective reports of overall well-being. This paper seeks to fill this gap. Data from two large surveys that provide nationally representative samples for two different countries – Australia (the HILDA Survey) and the UK (the UK Household Longitudinal Study) – are used to estimate a simultaneous equations model of life satisfaction. The model allows for self-reported sexual identity to influence a measure of life satisfaction both directly and indirectly through seven different channels: (i) income; (ii) employment; (iii) health (iv) partner relationships; (v) children; (vi) friendship networks; and (vii) education. Lesbian, gay and bisexual persons are found to be significantly less satisfied with their lives than otherwise comparable heterosexual persons. In both countries this is the result of a combination of direct and indirect effects.
    Keywords: Sexual orientation, sexual minorities, discrimination, life satisfaction, HILDA Survey, UKHLS
    JEL: I31 J71
    Date: 2014–04
  11. By: DiMaria, Charles Henri; Peroni, Chiara; Sarracino, Francesco
    Abstract: This article is about the link between people’s subjective well-being, defined as an evaluation of one’s own life, and productivity. Our aim is to test the hypothesis that subjective well-being contributes to productivity using a two step approach: first, we establish whether subjective well-being can be a candidate variable to study Total Factor Productivity; second, we assess how much subjective well-being contributes to productivity at aggregate level through efficiency gains. We adopt Data Envelopment Analysis to compute total factor productivity and efficiency indices using European Social Survey and AMECO data for 20 European countries. Results show that subjective well-being is an input and not an output to production.
    Keywords: productivity, subjective well-being, TFP, efficiency gains, life satisfaction, economic growth, DEA.
    JEL: E23 I31 O47
    Date: 2014–06–27

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