nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒01‒19
eight papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Women and happiness By Matteucci, Nicola; Vieira Lima, Sabrina
  2. Share Capitalism and Worker Wellbeing By Bryson, Alex; Clark, Andrew E.; Freeman, Richard B.; Green, Colin P.
  3. Transformations In The Rural Life In Russian Belgorod Region In 2000-2013 Through “Modernization” Theoretical Perspective: Increasing Material Well-Being, Growing Individualism And Persisting Pessimism By Azer G. Efendiev; Pavel S. Sorokin; Maria A. Kozlova
  4. What Happens To Happiness When People Get Older? Socio-Economic Determinants Of Life Satisfaction In Later Life By Marina G. Kolosnitsyna; Natalia A. Khorkina; Khongor N. Dorzhiev
  5. How Robust Is The Association Of Life Satisfaction With Value Congruence? A Study Of Constructed Socio-Demographic Groups In A Russian National Sample By Alyona A. Khaptsova; Shalom H. Schwartz
  6. Sex and Happiness By Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth
  7. A Framework for Advancing the Well-Being and Self-Sufficiency of At-Risk Youth By M. Robin Dion
  8. Breathing the Same Air? Measuring Air Pollution in Cities and Regions By Monica Brezzi; Daniel Sanchez-Serra

  1. By: Matteucci, Nicola; Vieira Lima, Sabrina
    Abstract: We survey the Happiness and Economics field to systematize the explanations of the happiness gender gap, whose puzzling evidence stands out both synchronically and diachronically. Further, this analysis is completed by an interdisciplinary review of competing perspectives, mostly from psychology and medical sciences. Beside disciplinary specificities and differences, results and explanations also reveal some intriguing commonalities. Psychology and medical sciences (also assisted by cutting edge medical technologies) lead in the static (time-invariant) explanation of happiness and its gender gap, while economic works are better equipped to detect external factors and the role of time-varying objective life conditions. In particular, the Happiness and Economics field has provided original evidence on the country and time variant nature of the happiness gender gap. Finally, different disciplines uncovered the common stylized fact that women are increasingly worse off during their life, by aging, with respect to men: its full explanation still remains at the center of the research agenda.
    Keywords: Happiness, Subjective Well-Being, Psycological Well-Being, Gender gap, Determinants, Interdisciplinary review
    JEL: A12 D10 I31 J13 J16
    Date: 2014–09
  2. By: Bryson, Alex (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)); Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); Freeman, Richard B. (Harvard University); Green, Colin P. (Lancaster University)
    Abstract: We show that worker wellbeing is not only related to the amount of compensation workers receive but also how they receive it. While previous theoretical and empirical work has often been pre-occupied with individual performance-related pay, we here demonstrate a robust positive link between the receipt of a range of group performance schemes (profit shares, group bonuses and share ownership) and job satisfaction. Critically, this relationship remains after conditioning on wage levels, which suggests these pay methods provide utility to workers in addition to that through higher wages. These findings survive a variety of methods aimed at accounting for unobserved individual and job-specific characteristics. We investigate two potential channels for this effect. We first demonstrate that half of the positive effect can be accounted for by employees' tendency to reciprocate in return for the "gift" of share capitalism. Second, we show that these 'share capitalist' modes of pay dampen the negative wellbeing effects of what we typically think of as "bad" aspects of job quality. Finally, share-capitalist pay methods also have positive wellbeing spill-over effects on co-workers.
    Keywords: compensation methods, wages, job satisfaction, working conditions
    JEL: J28 J33 J54 J63 J81 M52
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Azer G. Efendiev (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Pavel S. Sorokin (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria A. Kozlova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In the present paper we analyze transformations in the life of rural population in the Belgorod region, Russia, in the period 2000-2013 in the context of active development of large vertically integrated enterprises – agroholdings. These transformations are seen through the prism of “modernization” concept: agroholdings promote advanced agricultural technologies, professional management and modern organization of labor and thus may be considered as an important factor stimulating rural modernization in Belgorod region. The traditional understanding of “modernization” in sociology implies a progressive transition from a “pre-modern” or “traditional” to a “modern” society which means changes in many areas such as: occupational structure (including the development of entrepreneurship), material well-being (growth of living condition resulting from efficient economy), and increase in rationality and individualism. However, literature shows that the adaptation to modernization processes might be painful for the local communities and for the society in general. Hence, reflecting on both, modernization theoretical framework and literature on Russian rural development, in our analysis of transformations in Belgorod region we focus on the following aspects: firstly, material well-being and living conditions of rural population; secondly, individualism and attitudes towards achievement and economic success; thirdly, the attractiveness of private farming. Finally, we look at the general perception by the rural population of their future (from the point of view of optimism/pessimism). The research is based on the two empirical studies, conducted in the years 2000 and 2013 which utilized similar methodology in the similar 15 villages of the Belgorod region. Possibly, the most interesting empirical finding is that despite rapid growth of material well-being of the rural population, the pessimistic expectations are no less widespread in 2013 than in 2000. This illustrates the complex nature of the transformations of the rural life in Belgorod region
    Keywords: rural Russia, Belgorod region, well-being of rural population, attitudes, social and economic transformations, modernization, agroholdings
    JEL: Z10 Z13 O18
    Date: 2014
  4. By: Marina G. Kolosnitsyna (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Natalia A. Khorkina (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Khongor N. Dorzhiev (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: The world population is ageing and this demographic trend has become the subject of numerous research projects and discussions. In Russia, this process has also become a topic for many studies examining socio-economic characteristics and health status of elderly, their retirement behaviours. That said, research on the life satisfaction of Russian seniors and its determinants is still rather scarce. At the same time, revealing the factors of life satisfaction in old age could help develop a sound state policy towards the elderly thus enhancing the well-being of society as a whole. This paper explores the determinants of elderly life satisfaction using micro-data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. Our research show that for all Russian seniors aged 55+ the strongest and most common predictors of life satisfaction are: health status, personal income, type of settlement, and social status. We found significant gender differences in factors of life satisfaction: an inverse U-relation of age and happiness is characteristic for the oldest old females only; holding a job enhances life satisfaction for women but not for men; and the education level of seniors has almost no correlation with life satisfaction, while having children decreases an individual’s happiness.
    Keywords: happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, ageing, elderly, Russia
    JEL: I31 J14
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Alyona A. Khaptsova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Shalom H. Schwartz (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Congruence between own values and those of one’s reference groups has been found to promote life satisfaction. Actual or anticipated support or sanctions from reference others presumably explains this effect. Does the effect extend to congruence with the values of others who are similar only in socio-demographic characteristics with whom one does not interact? We constructed 36 socio-demographic groups by crossing age, gender, religion, education level, and region of residence in a representative Russian national sample (N=961). We derived value congruence scores by correlating individuals’ values with the mean values of their constructed group. Value congruence and life satisfaction correlated significantly across individuals even in these groups. The less important self-direction values to individuals, the stronger the correlation. A meta-analysis of the correlations in the 36 groups also confirmed the positive association of value congruence with life satisfaction. The characteristics used to construct the groups did not moderate this association.
    Keywords: value congruence, life satisfaction , self-direction values, meta-analysis, constructed groups, refined values theory
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Zhiming Cheng; Russell Smyth
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between sexual activities and happiness using a sample of 3800 adults from China. We establish some firm results about the contribution of sexual activities and relationships to happiness for an important country other than the United States. Our main finding is that those who have more sex and better quality sex, proxied by frequency of orgasm and emotional and physical satisfaction with one’s primary sex partner, are happier. Another major finding is that the happiness maximizing number of sexual partners is one. We also identify important gender differences between men and women. For men, there is a stronger relationship than for women, between the frequency, and physical aspects, of sexual intercourse and happiness. For women, there is a stronger relationship than for men between giving, and receiving, affection to/from their primary sexual partner and happiness.
    Keywords: Happiness, sexual activities, sexual intercourse, subjective wellbeing.
    JEL: H00 J00 D60
    Date: 2014–09
  7. By: M. Robin Dion
    Keywords: YDD Youth Demonstration Development At-Risk Youth Self-Sufficiency
    JEL: I
    Date: 2013–03–30
  8. By: Monica Brezzi; Daniel Sanchez-Serra
    Abstract: This paper presents a new set of estimates of exposure to air pollution (fine particulate matter - PM2.5) at the city, regional and national levels for the 34 OECD countries, and at the regional and national levels for Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa. The estimates are developed by the computation of satellite-based observations. They have the advantage of providing consistent values of the magnitude and spatial distribution of air pollution to be compared across and within countries and over time. The paper also explores the association between shape of cities (population density, share of built-up area, extension of the hinterlands, etc.) and air pollution. The estimates of air pollution at (TL2) regional level have been used in the newly released OECD Regional Well-Being Database as a measure of the environmental dimension.
    Keywords: health, air pollution, urban form, sub-national disparities
    JEL: Q53 Q56
    Date: 2014–12–22

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