nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒09‒25
three papers chosen by

  1. Autonomy-enhancing paternalism By Binder, Martin; Lades, Leonhard
  2. The Geographical Spread and the Economic Impact of Food Harvest 2020 – A Regional Perspective By Mary Carey; Cathal O'Donoghue
  3. The gustibus errari (pot)est”:utility misprediction, preferences for well-being and life satisfaction". By Bechetti, Leonardo; Conzo, Pierluigi

  1. By: Binder, Martin; Lades, Leonhard
    Abstract: We present a form of soft paternalism called "autonomy-enhancing paternalism" that seeks to in-crease individual well-being by facilitating the individual ability to make critically reflected, au-tonomous decisions. The focus of autonomy-enhancing paternalism is on helping individuals to become better decision-makers, rather than on helping them by making better decisions for them. Autonomy-enhancing paternalism acknowledges that behavioral interventions can change the strength of decision-making anomalies over time, and favors those interventions that improve, ra-ther than reduce, individuals' ability to make good and unbiased decisions. By this it prevents ma-nipulation of the individual by the soft paternalist, accounts for the heterogeneity of individuals, and counteracts slippery slope arguments by decreasing the probability of future paternalistic inter-ventions. Moreover, autonomy-enhancing paternalism can be defended based on both liberal val-ues and welfare considerations.
    Keywords: welfare economics; preference learning; autonomy; behavioral economics; libertarian paternalism
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Mary Carey (PhD student in Public Policy, School of Economics, University College Dublin, Ireland); Cathal O'Donoghue (Rural Economy and Development Programme, Teagasc, Athenry, Co. Galway, Ireland)
    Abstract: Recently the agri-food sector has received increased attention in Ireland. The agri-food sector has been the traditional backbone of Irish exports, and despite the economic downturn Irish exports in this sector grew by an impressive 12 percent in 2011 (CSO 2012). The agri-food sector is regarded as Ireland’s largest indigenous industry, the potential of the sector in terms of exports, and its heavy dependence on domestic inputs are the key reasons for the increased attention. The real economic value of the agri-food sector in Ireland is analysed at national, and most importantly for this paper, at regional level. This paper examines the impact of the agri-food sector in addressing regional disparities in Ireland. The estimation of the true value of the agri-food sector is evaluated at regional level by analysing Gross Value Added, employment levels and productivity rates for the sector expressed in percentage of regional values. Gross-Value-Added in absolute terms and as a percentage of regional Gross-Value- Added provides us with a more thorough understanding of the regional importance of certain industries within the sector. In terms of employment, the rural context of the agri-food sector is discussed, including the geographical spread of the sector. A comparison of regional productivity levels is analysed at national and regional level. In addition, this paper geographically distributes the change in output and employment if the four main sector specific Food Harvest 2020 targets are achieved. As a preliminary contour of the agri-food sector in Ireland this research will be useful to all the key players in the sector.
    Keywords: Regional Development Policy, Agri-food sector, Regional Economics
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Bechetti, Leonardo; Conzo, Pierluigi (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The life satisfaction literature generally focuses on how life events affect subjective well-being. Through a contingent valuation survey we test whether well-being preferences have significant impact on life satisfaction. A sample of respondents is asked to simulate a policymaker decision consisting in allocating scarce financial resources among 11 well-being domains. Consistently with the utility misprediction hypothesis, we find that the willingness to invest more in the economic well-being domain is negatively correlated with life satisfaction. Our findings are shown to be robust when we account for unobservables related to economic fragility and non-random sample selection. Revers e causality and omitted variable bias are controlled for with instrumental variables and a sensitivity analysis on departures from exogeneity assumptions. Subsample estimates document that the less educated are more affected by the problem.
    Date: 2014–07

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