nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒01‒14
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Subjective Well-Being By Takuya Ishino; Akiko Kamesaka; Toshiya Murai; Masao Ogaki
  2. Trends in the distribution of multidimensional development indices in Sub-Saharan Africa By Daniel Bahyl; Katarzyna Ptasinska; Daniel Roos
  3. Life satisfaction and environmental conditions in Italy: a pseudo-panel approach By Tiziana Laureti
  4. Dissatisfied, feeling unequal and inclined to emigrate: Perceptions from Macedonia in a MIMIC model By Petreski, Marjan; Petreski, Blagica
  5. Does the Choice of Well-Being Measure Matter Empirically?: An Illustration with German Data By Koen Decancq; Dirk Neumann
  6. Job Insecurity, Employability, and Health: An Analysis for Germany across Generations By Steffen Otterbach; Alfonso Sousa-Poza
  7. Sick of Your Job? Negative Health Effects from Non-optimal Employment By Jan Kleibrink
  8. Bentham or Aristotle in the Development Process? An Empirical Investigation of Capabilities and Subjective Well-being By Graham, Carol Lee; Nikolova, Milena
  9. The impact of care farms and green care on health-related quality of life: a systematic review guiding cost-effectiveness analysis By Nyantara Wickramasekera; Sandy Tubeuf; Thomas Veale; Judy Wright; Helen Elsey; Jenni Murray
  10. How's Life at Home? New Evidence on Marriage and the Set Point for Happiness By Shawn Grover; John F. Helliwell
  11. Quality Of Work Life As Methodological Framework In Organizational Studies: State Of The Art And Perspectives For The Future Research By Anna S. Gogoleva; Pavel S. Sorokin; Azer G. Efendiev
  12. Does the Three Good Things Exercise Really Make People More Positive and Less Depressed? A study in Japan By SEKIZAWA Yoichi; YOSHITAKE Naomi
  13. Housing Property Rights and Subjective Wellbeing in Urban China By Zhiming Cheng; Stephen P. King; Russell Smyth; Haining Wang
  14. The Job Satisfaction-Life Satisfaction Relationship Revisited: Using the Lewbel Estimation Technique to Estimate Causal Effects Using Cross-Sectional Data By Vinod Mishra; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth; Alex Newman
  15. The Long-Term Effects of Building Strong Families: A Program for Unmarried Parents By Robert G. Wood; Quinn Moore; Andrew Clarkwest; Alexandra Killewald

  1. By: Takuya Ishino (Faculty of Economics, Kanazawa Seiryo University); Akiko Kamesaka (School of Business Administration, Aoyama Gakuin University, and Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan); Toshiya Murai (Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University); Masao Ogaki (Faculty of Economics, Kyoto University)
    Date: 2014–12
  2. By: Daniel Bahyl; Katarzyna Ptasinska; Daniel Roos
    Keywords: Multidimensional Development Indices, Sub-Saharan Africa, Wellbeing
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Tiziana Laureti
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the relationship between subjective well-being and environmental conditions in Italy. Using a pseudo-panel approach, based on cohort data from the ISTAT multipurpose survey “Aspect of Daily Life” for the years 2010-2012, this paper aims at investigating the role of subjective and objective measures of environmental quality on life satisfaction by using fixed effects models taking into account regional heterogeneity and generational effects. A robust negative impact of air pollutions on self-reported life satisfaction is found. With respect to personal characteristics and control variables, the paper finds that the economic conditions and the perception of personal health status play important roles in explaining life satisfaction while car density, relative poverty risk and unemployment rates affect life satisfaction negatively.
    Keywords: Environmental quality, subjective well-being, pseudo-panel.
    JEL: C23 I31 Q53
    Date: 2014–12–01
  4. By: Petreski, Marjan; Petreski, Blagica
    Abstract: Macedonia has a large diaspora, high emigration rate and large amount of remittances received. The objective of this paper is to describe the current inclination to emigrate from Macedonia, in the light of the dissatisfaction with the domestic political and economic environment and the potential feeling of gender and ethnic inequalities. Particular reference is made to the role of remittances. The Remittances Survey 2008 is used, while dissatisfaction, feeling unequal and inclination to emigrate are treated as latent continuous variables in a MIMIC (Multiple-Indicator Multiple-Cause) model, observed only imperfectly in terms of respondents’ perceptions and opinions. Results robustly suggest that dissatisfaction with the societal conditions in Macedonia grows in the twenties and early thirties of people’s life and is more prevalent among ethnic Albanians. Albanians also demonstrate stronger feeling of gender and ethnic inequality. Dissatisfaction, but not the feeling on inequality, then feeds inclination to emigrate. Further to this, however, males and less educated persons are more inclined to emigrate, irrespective of their level of dissatisfaction. Remittances were found to play a strong role for the inclination to emigrate: inclination is larger in households receiving remittances and increases with the amount received, as it is likely that remittances alleviate financial constraints for other persons of the household to emigrate.
    Keywords: dissatisfaction, feeling unequal, migration, remittances, MIMIC
    JEL: F22 F24
    Date: 2015–01–01
  5. By: Koen Decancq; Dirk Neumann
    Abstract: We discuss and compare fiÂ…ve measures of individual well-being, namely income, an objective composite well-being index, a measure of subjective well-being, equivalent income, and a well-being measure based on the von Neumann-Morgenstern utilities of the individuals. After examining the information requirements of these measures, we illustrate their implementation using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for 2010. We fiÂ…nd sizeable differences in the characteristics of the individuals identiÂ…ed as worst of according to the different well-being measures. Less than 1% of the individuals belong to the bottom decile according to all Â…five measures. Moreover, the measures lead to considerably different well-being rankings of the individuals. These Â…findings highlight the importance of the choice of well-being measure for policy making.
    Keywords: Income, composite well-being index, life satisfaction, equivalent income, von Neumann-Morgenstern utility function, worst off, Germany
    JEL: D31 D63 I30
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Steffen Otterbach; Alfonso Sousa-Poza
    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
  7. By: Jan Kleibrink
    Abstract: In an empirical study based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, the effect of job quality on individual health is analyzed. Extending previous studies methodologically to estimate unbiased effects of job satisfaction on individual health, it can be shown that low job satisfaction affects individual health negatively. In a second step, the underlying forces of this broad effect are disentangled. The analysis shows that the effects of job satisfaction on health run over the channels of job security and working hours above the individual limit. Job quality not only has a strong impact on mental health but physical health is affected as well. At the same time, health-damaging behavior including smoking and being overweight is not affected.
    Keywords: Individual Health; Job Satisfaction
    JEL: I14 J24 J28
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Graham, Carol Lee (Brookings Institution); Nikolova, Milena (IZA)
    Abstract: Life evaluations and emotional states are distinct subjective well-being (SWB) components. We explore the relationship between opportunities and SWB dimensions, distinguishing between actual capabilities and means (education, employment, and income) and perceived opportunities (autonomy and health perceptions and belief in hard work). We find a link between capabilities and SWB (particularly, life evaluations), which varies across world regions. Capabilities can also be associated with stress and anger and seem to matter the least for the happiest respondents. We also explore the determinants of the least studied well-being dimension: eudaimonia, or life purpose, which is an underlying objective of the development process.
    Keywords: well-being, capabilities, freedoms, variance decompositions
    JEL: I31 I39
    Date: 2014–12
  9. By: Nyantara Wickramasekera (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Sandy Tubeuf (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Thomas Veale (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Judy Wright (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Helen Elsey (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds); Jenni Murray (Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, University of Leeds)
    Abstract: Background: Care farms are increasingly commissioned by public sector and health sector organizations to provide support to vulnerable people. It is a complex intervention that provides farming activities for therapeutic purposes. The evidence base assessing the effectiveness of care farms is relatively recent and to date no systematic review has been conducted to assess the impact of care farms using health-related-quality-of-life measures. Aim: This systematic review aims to identify any existing literature evaluating the impact of care farms and green care interventions in adult populations, with a specific focus on health-relatedquality- of-life measures that could be used for a cost-effectiveness or cost-utility analysis. Methods: 19 general health and social science databases were searched systematically in November 2013. Care farm and green care interventions, for adults measuring HRQOL outcome were included and assessed for methodological quality using the Cochrane’s six item risk of bias checklist. Results: Five studies with four hundred and eighty-four participants were included in this review. Two studies favoured the interventions, whereas three studies did not find strong evidence that the intervention had an effect on participants’ health-related-quality-of-life at post-intervention follow-up. These results indicated that care farms and green care may benefit certain populations such as breast and lung cancer patients, the elderly, and people with affective disorders. Conclusions: Given the small number of available studies and their methodological limitations we cannot make unequivocal conclusions about the impact of care farms on health-relatedquality- of-life. With this caveat, some evidence suggests that care farms and green care interventions can improve quality of life for some participants. However, this review highlights the need to conduct more high quality trials with larger sample sizes and longer term follow-up.
    Keywords: health-related quality-of-life, care farms, green care, cost-effectiveness, cost-utility
    JEL: I31 I38
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Shawn Grover; John F. Helliwell
    Abstract: Subjective well-being research has often found that marriage is positively correlated with well-being. Some have argued that this correlation may be result of happier people being more likely to marry. Others have presented evidence suggesting that the well-being benefits of marriage are short-lasting. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we control individual pre-marital well-being levels and find that the married are still more satisfied, suggesting a causal effect, even after full allowance is made for selection effects. Using new data from the United Kingdom's Annual Population Survey, we find that the married have a less deep U-shape in life satisfaction across age groups than do the unmarried, indicating that marriage may help ease the causes of the mid-life dip in life satisfaction and that the benefits of marriage are unlikely to be short-lived. We explore friendship as a mechanism which could help explain a causal relationship between marriage and life satisfaction, and find that well-being effects of marriage are about twice as large for those whose spouse is also their best friend. Finally, we use the Gallup World Poll to show that although the overall well-being effects of marriage appear to vary across cultural contexts, marriage eases the middle-age dip in life evaluations for all regions except Sub-Saharan Africa.
    JEL: I31 J12 J16
    Date: 2014–12
  11. By: Anna S. Gogoleva (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel S. Sorokin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Azer G. Efendiev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The main goal of the present paper is to conduct theoretical and methodological analysis of the current state of the art in the field of QWL studies and to outline perspectives for the future research of the QWL in managerial and organizational research. 716 publications listed in the Web of Science utilizing the QWL concept were selected at the initial stage and 420 papers were included in the final set of publications for analysis. The literature examination revealed the absence of the clear and concrete definition of QWL, various (and often incomplete) approaches to QWL content and indicators, interference of QWL with other concepts like job satisfaction which all resulted in general confusion in academic discussions about the notion. We argue that it is necessary to elaborate a new model for QWL assessment which would combine subjective and objective measures in the context of the general framework of needs satisfaction approach. We hope to contribute to the current discussions by suggesting our own version of classification of employee needs in the QWL framework elaborated basing on previous research by other authors.
    Keywords: quality of work life, methodology, indicators, theory, organizational studies, managerial studies
    JEL: Z10 Z13 O18
    Date: 2014
  12. By: SEKIZAWA Yoichi; YOSHITAKE Naomi
    Abstract: Objective: Seligman, Steen, Park, and Peterson (2005) reported that people who wrote down three good things (TGT) for a week exhibited significantly greater happiness and less depression. An online study was conducted to examine whether performing a similar exercise reduces depressive symptoms and increases positive affect (PA) in the Japanese population.<br />Methods: One thousand Japanese adults were randomly assigned to the TGT group or the control group. Participants in the TGT group were instructed to perform the TGT exercise at least twice a week for four weeks, whereas participants in the control group were told to record three past events.<br />Results: An increase in PA was observed in the TGT group at the post-test, but not at the one-month follow-up. There were no significant changes in depressive symptoms at the post-test or the one-month follow up in either group. Participants in the TGT group exhibited a significant increase in general trust at both the post-test and the one-month follow-up. A significant increase in this variable at the one-month follow-up was also observed in control participants.<br />Conclusion: Performing the TGT exercise increases PA, but this increase is temporary. The TGT exercise may be effective in enhancing general trust.
    Date: 2015–01
  13. By: Zhiming Cheng; Stephen P. King; Russell Smyth; Haining Wang
    Abstract: This study explores the relationship between home ownership and subjective wellbeing in urban China. We first present a theoretical model examining the relationship between housing property rights and subjective wellbeing in China. We then test the predictions of the theoretical model using a nationally representative dataset. We find that not only home ownership, but the property rights one acquires and the source of those property rights matters for subjective wellbeing. Moreover, not only whether one has a home loan, but the type of home loan one has matters for subjective wellbeing.
    Keywords: Subjective wellbeing, housing property rights, China
    Date: 2014–09
  14. By: Vinod Mishra; Ingrid Nielsen; Russell Smyth; Alex Newman
    Abstract: This paper uses a novel identification strategy proposed by Lewbel (2012, J. Bus. Econ. Stat.) to illustrate how causation between job satisfaction and life satisfaction can be established with cross-sectional data. In addition to examining the relationship between composite job satisfaction and life satisfaction, we consider the relationship between life satisfaction and different facets of job satisfaction. We find evidence of bidirectional causality between job satisfaction and life satisfaction and mixed evidence of causation between life satisfaction and different facets of job satisfaction.
    Keywords: Job satisfaction, life satisfaction, causality.
    Date: 2014–09
  15. By: Robert G. Wood; Quinn Moore; Andrew Clarkwest; Alexandra Killewald
    Abstract: Presents final findings from a large-scale, random assignment evaluation of Building Strong Families (BSF), a program offering relationship skills education to low-income, unmarried parents who are expecting or recently had a baby. The study found that BSF did not succeed in its central objectives of improving couples' relationships, increasing coparenting quality, or enhancing father involvement. In fact, the program had modest negative effects on some of these outcomes. Although attendance at group sessions was relatively low, there is little evidence of program effects even among couples who attended sessions regularly.
    Keywords: Child Well-Being Coparenting, Fatherhood Low-Income Families Marriage Education, Relationship Education
    JEL: I
    Date: 2014–04–30

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