nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒08‒02
seven papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Direct Effect of Obesity on Emotional Well-Being: Evidence from Mexico By Olivier Bargain; Jinan Zeidan
  2. The Impact of Housing on the Wellbeing of Children and Youths By Blau, David; Haurin, Donald
  3. Effect of Cross-Cultural Environment on People's Job Satisfaction in Foreign Invested Real Estate Companies in China By Jiang, Jing
  4. Climate Change and Sustainable Welfare: An Argument for the Centrality of Human Needs By Ian Gough
  5. Социалнопсихологически аспекти на пазарната размяна в институционалната икономика By Sedlarski, Teodor
  6. Government’s Restructuring Pay Policy and Job Satisfaction: The Case of Teachers in the Ga West Municipal Assembly of Ghana. By Forson, Joseph Ato; Opoku, Rosemary Afrakomah
  7. Advance in your career and get satisfaction: How much your emotional, social and cognitive competencies matter? By Sara Bonesso; Fabrizio Gerli; Claudio Pizzi

  1. By: Olivier Bargain (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS); Jinan Zeidan (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics), CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: Obesity spreads more easily if is not perceived negatively. This may be the case among the poor, for whom fatness can be an external sign of wealth. We estimate the direct effect of overweight on emotional well-being in Mexico, a country facing the highest obesity rate in the world. Individual fatness is instrumented using variation in genetic predisposition. Results confirm a positive or insignificant effects of obesity among the poor and point to a depressing effect among the rich. This is consistent with contrasted norms, related to unequal development levels, which may exacerbate health inequality and justify targeted communication by health authorities.
    Keywords: emotional well-being, obesity, waist-to-height ratio
    JEL: D1 I12 I31
    Date: 2014–07–16
  2. By: Blau, David; Haurin, Donald
    Abstract: Housing subsidies are often justified by claims that high quality housing improves households’ economic and social outcomes. The goal of our research is to undertake a comprehensive empirical study of the causal impact of housing characteristics on the cognitive, behavioral, and health outcomes of children and young adults. The primary hypothesis is that the quality of a child’s dwelling has a positive effect on child outcomes in both the short and the long run, holding other factors constant. Other key hypotheses are that the effects of housing differ by race, ethnicity, and income. In particular, we expect that there are diminishing returns to housing quality, so housing effects will be more important for low income children. We study this issue using child production function models. There are few studies of the impact of the attributes of dwellings on child and young adult outcomes. Most existing studies have focused on the impact of homeownership compared with renting. Using mostly U.S. data they suggest there is a small positive impact on selected child and young adult outcomes of being a homeowner. But very few studies have measured the impact of crowding or building type on child outcomes.We merge rich longitudinal data on child outcomes (National Longitudinal Study of Youth and Child Supplements) with information on the respondents’ house characteristics (Zillow data). We then analyze both the short and long term effects of house characteristics experienced during childhood. Examples of child outcomes include math and reading cognition, health, and behavioral problems. Examples of young adult outcomes studied include graduation from high school, wages, employment, and criminal convictions. Examples of dwelling characteristics include the square footage of the dwelling and lot, number of bedrooms, type of structure (single or multifamily), location, whether owned or rented, persons per room, and interviewer observations of the home environment. The study will clarify whether housing policies should be directed towards encouraging homeownership, toward dwellings’ quality, or if there is no measureable effect on child outcomes. A particular focus will be on the outcomes experienced by the children of low income parents.
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Jiang, Jing
    Abstract: As China join into the WTO for over 10 years, increasing number of foreign investors show their interests in Chinese market, as well as foreign property companies.However, due to the cultural differences between foreign and local companies, the foreign investor will face with many challenges when entering into Chinese market. These challenges may lead to difficulties not only in establishing relationships with government offices, customers, labor and suppliers but also in managing local staff.While more and more employees working in foreign real estate companies now, it is not clear whether they feel live up to their expectations. Previous research show that cross-cultural environment in real estate industry has drawn much attention, although some influence of cross-culture was concluded, how people's job satisfaction would be affected under the cross-cultural environment in foreign real estate companies is not examined. In this paper, both quantitative and qualitative approaches are taken as the main research method. The quantitative questionnaire is designed by taking reference of previous researchers' suggestion and incorporating a number of existing scales for the measurement. A pilot study will be firstly conducted in Guangdong province in China. Respondents will be invited to provide feedback on the design of the questionnaire and suggestions for refining the survey instruments. After that, the reliability and validity of the instrument will be examined. In addition, according to the suggestions from the respondents in pilot study, revision will be made to refine the questionnaire for the main survey. And then is the main survey, Shanghai will be chosen as the main sample area due to the distribution of foreign property companies in China. Questionnaire will be delivered to at least 200 respondents in foreign companies and collected back immediately after they complete. Same number of questionnaire will be sent to local companies to collect control data. And if possible, some experienced managers will be asked to do interview.To find out whether cross-cultural environment has an effect on employees' job satisfaction and which factors are more significant compared with traditional situation, structural equation modeling and multiple regression analysis will be considered as main data analysis methods, depending on the amount of data collected.
    Date: 2013
  4. By: Ian Gough
    Abstract: Since climate change threatens human wellbeing across the globe and into the future, we require a concept of wellbeing that encompasses an equivalent ambit. This paper argues that only a concept of human need can do the work required. It compares need theory with three alternative approaches. Preference satisfaction theory is criticised on the grounds of subjectivity, epistemic irrationality, endogenous and adaptive preferences, the limitlessness of wants, the absence of moral evaluation, and the non-specificity of future preferences. The happiness approach is found equally wanting. The main section shows how these deficiencies can be addressed by a coherent theory of need. Human needs are necessary preconditions to avoid serious harm, are universalisable, objective, empirically grounded, non-substitutable and satiable. They are broader than 'material' needs since a need for personal autonomy figures in all theoretical accounts. While needs are universal, need satisfiers are most often contextual and relative to institutions and cultures. The satiability and non-substitutability of needs is critical for understanding sustainability. The capability approaches of Sen and Nussbaum are compared but argued to be less fundamental. Finally, human needs provide the only concept that can ground moral obligations across global space and intergenerational time and thus operationalise 'sustainable welfare'.
    Keywords: Human needs, welfare theory, wellbeing, global justice, intergenerational justice, sustainability, preferences, capabilities
    JEL: B5 I00 P46 Z13
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Sedlarski, Teodor
    Abstract: Резюме Представени са някои неортодоксални аспекти на институционалния подход към пазарите като социални структури (институции). Демонстрирана е възможността за обогатяване на новоинституционалния анализ, основаван на концепциите за формални и неформални норми, имуществени права, транзакционни разходи, ограничена рационалност и социални мрежи, чрез отчитане ролята на обществени феномени като властта, статусното съревнование и когнитивните предизвикателства на разширените възможността за избор. Придобитите с помощта на разширения институционален подход изводи са отнесени към проблема на дългосрочната устойчивост на пазарната обществена система. Abstract This article summarizes some unorthodox aspects of the institutional approach to the markets as social structures (institutions). Demonstrated is the possibility to extend the new institutional analysis, based on the concepts of formal and informal rules, property rights, transaction costs, limited rationality and social networks, considering the role of social phenomena such as power, status competition and cognitive challenges of the greater selection opportunities. The conclusions of the proposed extended institutional approach are related to the problem of the long-term sustainability of the market society.
    Keywords: open access societies, natural orders, status, relative income, happiness, impersonal exchange, embeddedness
    JEL: A12 B41 B52 P16
    Date: 2014–01–31
  6. By: Forson, Joseph Ato; Opoku, Rosemary Afrakomah
    Abstract: This paper examines the ‘aftermath effect’ of the new civil service pay policy on job satisfaction among teachers in Ghana. We explore an avalanche of job satisfaction theories and instruments to identify key concepts and variables in building a baseline conceptual and research model. The findings of the study suggest that income, personal growth, bonus and organizational type have both effects (direct and indirect) on job satisfaction. The two-way analysis as well as the multivariate analysis of variance also indicates that gender, age group, and educational background also play a role in determining the level of satisfaction among teachers. The high unemployment rate (11 %) and the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) for the public sector in 2010 are also contributing factors to the retention of teachers.
    Keywords: Job satisfaction; Management; Single-Spine-Salary-Structure; MANOVA; Stepwise Regression; Ghana
    JEL: J31 J33 J38 J62 J64
    Date: 2014–06–30
  7. By: Sara Bonesso; Fabrizio Gerli; Claudio Pizzi
    Abstract: .
    Keywords: Emotional, social and cognitive competencies, career success, career satisfaction, life satisfaction
    JEL: M12 J2 J28
    Date: 2014–07

This nep-hap issue is ©2014 by Viviana Di Giovinazzo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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.