New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒07‒21
five papers chosen by

  1. Crime Scars: Recessions and the Making of Career Criminals By Brian Bell; Anna Bindler; Stephen Machin
  2. Trust and Happiness: Comparative Study Before and After the Great East Japan Earthquake By Eiji Yamamura; Yoshiro Tsutsui; Chisako Yamane; Shoko Yamane; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  3. Efficienza e Qualità della Vita By Vincenzo Patrizii; Anna Pettini; Giuliano Resce
  4. Unhappy Cities By Edward L. Glaeser; Joshua D. Gottlieb; Oren Ziv
  5. Split or straight? Some evidence on the effect of the work shift on Spanish workers' well-being and time use By González Chapela, Jorge

  1. By: Brian Bell; Anna Bindler; Stephen Machin
    Abstract: Recessions lead to short-term job loss, lower levels of happiness and decreasing income levels. There is growing evidence that workers who first join the labour market during economic downturns suffer from poor job matches that have a sustained detrimental effect on their wages and career progression. This paper uses a range of US and UK data to document a more disturbing long-run effect of recessions: young people who leave school in the midst of recessions are significantly more likely to lead a life of crime than those graduating into a buoyant labour market. These effects are long lasting and substantial.
    Keywords: Crime, recessions, unemployment
    JEL: J64 K42
    Date: 2014–07
  2. By: Eiji Yamamura; Yoshiro Tsutsui; Chisako Yamane; Shoko Yamane; Nattavudh Powdthavee
    Abstract: The positive relationship between trust and happiness has been demonstrated by the literature. However, it is not clear how much this relationship depends on environmental conditions. The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 is considered one of the most catastrophic events in human history. This disaster caused not only physical damage for Japanese people, but also perceived damage. Using individual-level panel data from Japan covering the period 2009-2012, this paper attempts to probe how the relationship between trust and happiness was influenced by the Great East Japan Earthquake by comparing the same individuals before and after the earthquake. A fixed-effects estimation showed that there is a statistically well-determined positive relationship between trust and happiness and this relationship was strengthened by disaster, especially for residents in the damaged area. We argue that social trust is a substitute for formal institutions and markets, which mitigates the effect of disaster-related shock on psychological conditions such as happiness. Therefore, a trustful society is invulnerable to a gigantic disaster.
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Vincenzo Patrizii; Anna Pettini; Giuliano Resce
    Abstract: Il primo obiettivo di questo lavoro è proporre un metodo di aggregazione del Better Life Index (BLI), che non richieda alcuna scelta riguardo al peso relativo delle singole variabili; il secondo obiettivo è valutare l’efficienza nella produzione del BLI. Per entrambi i fini si sceglie di usare Data Envelopment Analysis integrata con Non Negative Principal Component Analysis (NNPCADEA), in cui gli output (positivi e negativi) sono le variabili di BLI individuati dall’OECD. L’efficienza è valutata inserendo in questo modello due input convenzionali: capitale e lavoro, usati nel processo produttivo dei diversi paesi. I risultati mostrano che, per i paesi più ricchi, il BLI non cresce con il GDP e che avere un alto livello di BLI non sempre equivale a produrlo efficientemente.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Better Life Index, Quality of life, GDP, Happiness, Welfare, Well-being
    JEL: C61 E23 I31
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Joshua D. Gottlieb; Oren Ziv
    Abstract: There are persistent differences in self-reported subjective well-being across U.S. metropolitan areas, and residents of declining cities appear less happy than other Americans. Newer residents of these cities appear to be as unhappy as longer term residents, and yet some people continue to move to these areas. While the historical data on happiness are limited, the available facts suggest that cities that are now declining were also unhappy in their more prosperous past. One interpretation of these facts is that individuals do not aim to maximize self-reported well-being, or happiness, as measured in surveys, and they willingly endure less happiness in exchange for higher incomes or lower housing costs. In this view, subjective well-being is better viewed as one of many arguments of the utility function, rather than the utility function itself, and individuals make trade-offs among competing objectives, including but not limited to happiness.
    JEL: D00 I00 J00 R00
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: González Chapela, Jorge
    Abstract: The split work shift has been argued as one of the reasons behind the different Spanish time schedule, characterized by reduced sleep and a more difficult work-family balance. This paper presents direct evidence on the effect that being on a split shift has on Spanish workers’ wellbeing and time use. The split shift is found associated to more time spent working in the market, sleeping, and eating, and less time spent doing housework, caring for children, and at leisure. An increased feeling of being overwhelmed by tasks and having little time to do them is also found among female split-shifters.
    Keywords: work shift; role overload; time use; Spanish Time Use Survey
    JEL: I32 J22
    Date: 2014–07–14

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.