nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2014‒12‒13
six papers chosen by

  1. Job Insecurity, Employability, and Health: An Analysis for Germany across Generations By Otterbach, Steffen; Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
  2. Household Finances and Well-Being: An Empirical Analysis of Comparison Effects By Brown, Sarah; Gray, Daniel
  3. Temporal and Locational Flexibility of Work, Working-Time Fit, and Job Satisfaction By Possenriede, Daniel; Plantenga, Janneke
  4. Happiness matters: the role of well-being in productivity By Charles Henri DiMaria; Chiara Peroni; Francesco Sarracino
  5. Bowling Alone or Bowling at All? The Effect of Unemployment on Social Participation By Lars Kunze; Nicolai Suppa
  6. Do women earn less even as social entrepreneurs? By ESTRIN, Saul; STEPHAN, Ute; VUJIC, Suncica

  1. By: Otterbach, Steffen (University of Hohenheim); Sousa-Poza, Alfonso (University of Hohenheim)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use 12 waves of the German Socio-Economic Panel to examine the relationship between job insecurity, employability and health-related well-being. Our results indicate that being unemployed has a strong negative effect on life satisfaction and health. They also, however, highlight the fact that this effect is most prominent among individuals over the age of 40. A second observation is that job insecurity is also associated with lower levels of life satisfaction and health, and this association is quite strong. This negative effect of job insecurity is, in many cases, exacerbated by poor employability.
    Keywords: job insecurity, employment, employability, well-being, health, Germany
    JEL: J21 J22
    Date: 2014–08
  2. By: Brown, Sarah (University of Sheffield); Gray, Daniel (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: This paper explores the importance of the household's financial position for an individual's level of well-being. Initially, the empirical analysis, based on a large nationally representative panel survey, aims to ascertain the impact of the household's monetary financial position on overall life satisfaction and financial well-being, with the latter being measured by financial satisfaction and subjective prosperity. Taking into account monetary factors in addition to income, the results indicate that the household's level of net wealth, assets and debt are important determinants of overall life satisfaction and financial well-being. The paper also explores whether the financial situation of households in a comparison group influences an individual's overall life satisfaction and financial well-being. The results suggest that the financial position of households in the comparison group is an important determinant of an individual's level of overall life satisfaction and financial well-being, with information effects generally dominating comparison effects. In addition, the effects of the comparison group are asymmetric depending on whether a household's financial position is above or below the average of the reference group and vary over the life-cycle.
    Keywords: financial satisfaction, fixed effects ordered logit, household finances, overall life satisfaction, subjective prosperity
    JEL: D14 I31 J28
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Possenriede, Daniel (Utrecht School of Economics); Plantenga, Janneke (Utrecht University)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the effects of arrangements that provide temporal and locational flexibility of work (TLF), namely flexi-time, telehomework, and part-time work, on employees' satisfaction with the fit between working time and private life and their overall job satisfaction. TLF arrangements provide employees with more control over their working life and therefore are likely to improve on the match between paid work and private life. Based on Dutch household panel data, the results show that TLF arrangements, flexi-time in particular, are generally associated with sizeable increases in satisfaction with working-time fit and overall job satisfaction. Somewhat surprisingly, the effects hardly differ between male and female employees and between employees with and without children. Temporal and locational flexibility apparently appeals not only to employees with family responsibilities but more general to all employees.
    Keywords: flexi-time, job satisfaction, locational flexibility, part-time work, telehomework, temporal flexibility, working-time fit
    JEL: J22 J28 M52 M54
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Charles Henri DiMaria; Chiara Peroni; Francesco Sarracino
    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 subjectivewell-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
  5. By: Lars Kunze; Nicolai Suppa
    Abstract: This article examines the impact of unemployment on social participation for Germany using the German Socio-Economic Panel. We find significant negative, robust and, for some activities, lasting effects of unemployment on social participation. Causality is established by focussing on plant closures as exogenous entries into unemployment. Social norms, labor market prospects and the perception of individual failure are shown to be relevant for explaining these findings. Furthermore, our results not only (i) provide novel insights into the determinants of the unemployed’s unhappiness but also (ii) highlight an hitherto unexplored channel through which unemployment influences economic outcomes, namely by altering the long-run level of social capital, and (iii) point to an alternative explanation of unemployment hysteresis based on access to information.
    Keywords: Income redistribution; consumer credit; relative consumption motive; business cycles
    JEL: E21 E32 E44
    Date: 2014–10
  6. By: ESTRIN, Saul; STEPHAN, Ute; VUJIC, Suncica
    Abstract: Based upon unique survey data collected using respondent driven sampling methods, we investigate whether there is a gender pay gap among social entrepreneurs in the UK. We find that women as social entrepreneurs earn 29% less than their male colleagues, above the average UK gender pay gap of 19%. We estimate the adjusted pay gap to be about 23% after controlling for a range of demographic, human capital and job characteristics, as well as personal preferences and values. These differences are hard to explain by discrimination since these CEOs set their own pay. Income may not be the only aim in an entrepreneurial career, so we also look at job satisfaction to proxy for non-monetary returns. We find female social entrepreneurs to be more satisfied with their job as a CEO of a social enterprise than their male counterparts. This result holds even when we control for the salary generated through the social enterprise. Our results extend research in labour economics on the gender pay gap as well as entrepreneurship research on women’s entrepreneurship to the novel context of social enterprise. It provides the first evidence for a “contented female social entrepreneur” paradox.
    Keywords: Social entrepreneur, Gender pay gap, Social enterprise, Earnings, Job satisfaction
    JEL: J28 J31 J71 L32
    Date: 2014–11

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.