nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒03‒13
eight papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. New patterns of structural change and effects on inclusive development: A case study of South Africa and Brazil By Greenstein, Joshua
  2. Intra-household inequalities in child rights and well-being: A barrier to progress? By Takeuchi, Laura Rodriguez
  3. The Relative Income Hypothesis: A comparison of methods By Sarah Brown; Daniel Gray; Jennifer Roberts
  4. Towards a Multidimensional Poverty Index for Germany: Parents' Employment and Children's School Success in Germany By Nicolai Suppa
  5. Does the Burglar Also Disturb the Neighbor?: Crime Spillovers on Individual Well-being By Daniel Avdic; Christian Bünnings
  6. Do Changes in Regulation Affect Temporary Agency Workers' Job Satisfaction? By Henna Busk; Elke J. Jahn; Christine Singer
  7. How Has the Crisis of 2008-2009 Affected Subjective Well-Being? Evidence from 25 OECD Countries By Heinz Welsch; Jan Kühling
  8. Searching for Money Illusion in Europe By Alberto Montagnoli; Andrea Vaona

  1. By: Greenstein, Joshua
    Abstract: This study explores the question of structural change and inclusive development in South Africa and Brazil. Using Census data from the two countries, the analysis combines a household level multidimensional indicator of well-being with the applications of
    Keywords: structural change, inclusive development, productivity, employment and development, South Africa, Brazil
    Date: 2015
  2. By: Takeuchi, Laura Rodriguez
    Abstract: This paper attempts to measure the extent of inequality within households and its contribution to overall levels of inequality in child well-being. The paper analyses the distribution of resources (outcomes) between girls and boys for four indicators: nut
    Keywords: inequality, intra-household, child, well-being, multidimensionality
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Sarah Brown (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Daniel Gray (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Empirical studies of the relative income hypothesis have found both positive and negative effects of relative income on utility. Differences in data and methods make the results difficult to compare. To facilitate comparisons we explore the problem using a large UK household panel. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of the estimated relative income effect to the definition of the reference group and to the estimation strategy employed. Given the increasing attention paid to interdependent preferences in the economics literature, and the implications for problems such as the measurement of societal welfare, our findings are of interest for both the theoretical and empirical study of the relative income hypothesis.
    Keywords: relative income, reference group, subjective well-being
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Nicolai Suppa
    Abstract: This paper compiles a multidimensional poverty index for Germany. Drawing on the capability approach as conceptual framework, I apply the Alkire-Foster method using German panel data. I suggest new operationalizations for two dimensions: social participation and practical reason, the latter drawing on recent findings in experimental economics. The results are consistent with earlier findings, but also reveal several new insights. Specifically, numerous decompositions of the poverty index prove helpful in better tracking and understanding developments. Moreover, I find poor individuals to be adversely affected by general trends in deprivation indicators. Comparing multidimensional and income-based methods, I find only a modest overlap of people considered as poor by both approaches. Moreover, I address the role of income as a dimension in multidimensional poverty indices.
    Keywords: Multidimensional poverty, Alkire-Foster method, capability approach, SOEP
    JEL: I3 I32 D63 H1
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Daniel Avdic; Christian Bünnings
    Abstract: Indirect psychological effects induced by crime are likely to contribute significantly to the total costs of crime beyond the financial costs of direct victimization. Using detailed crime statistics for the whole of Germany and linking them to individual-level mental health information from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we analyze whether local crime rates affect the mental health of residents. We estimate that a one standard deviation increase in local violent crime rates significantly decreases individual mental well-being among residents by, on average, one percent. Smaller effects are found for property and total crime rates. Results are insensitive to migration and not isolated to urban areas, but are rather driven by less densely populated regions. In contrast to previous literature on vulnerability to crime, we find that men, more educated and singles react more to variation in violent crime rates in their neighborhoods. One potential explanation could be that those who are more fearful of crime have developed better coping strategies and, hence, react less to changes in crime.
    Keywords: Fear of crime, spillover effect, mental health, vulnerability, neighborhood effects, panel data
    JEL: C23 I18 K42 R23
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Henna Busk; Elke J. Jahn; Christine Singer
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact on temporary agency workers’ job satisfaction of a reform that considerably relaxed regulations covering the temporary help service sector in Germany. We isolate the causal effect of this reform by combining a difference-in-difference and matching approach and using rich survey data. We find that the change of the law substantially decreased agency workers’ job satisfaction while regular workers’ job satisfaction remained unchanged. Further analysis reveals that the negative effect on agency workers’ job satisfaction can be attributed to a decrease in wages and an increase in perceived job insecurity. These results are also robust to the use of different specifications and placebo tests.
    Keywords: Temporary agency employment, deregulation, job satisfaction
    JEL: J28 J41 J88
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Heinz Welsch (University of Oldenburg - Department of Economics & ZenTra); Jan Kühling (University of Oldenburg - Department of Economics & ZenTra)
    Abstract: This paper uses life satisfaction data of almost 140,000 individuals in 25 OECD countries to study how changes in the rates of GDP growth, unemployment and inflation during the macroeconomic crisis of 2008-2009 have affected subjective well-being. The relative contributions of the three macroeconomic variables to individuals’ life satisfaction are used to assess how each country performed on balance during the crisis. This approach follows a recent trend of using subjective well-being data for monitoring economic performance and for policy appraisal. We find that in the countries most strongly affected by the crisis the effects on an average citizen’s well-being may be of a similar magnitude as the effects of the most serious personal life events. The main driver of these effects is the drop in GDP, whose impact is aggravated by the increase of unemployment. Though the inflation rate went down in several of the countries, the effect was too weak to significantly reduce the negative effect of the changes in GDP and unemployment. The results show that GDP fluctuations are important drivers of subjective well-being.
    Keywords: macroeconomic crisis, subjective well-being, life satisfaction
    JEL: E32 I31 E61
    Date: 2015–03
  8. By: Alberto Montagnoli (University of Sheffiled); Andrea Vaona (Department of Economics (University of Verona))
    Abstract: We apply recent money illusion tests on data on individual life satisfaction from the Eurobarometer for the period 1980–2003. The null hypothesis of no money illusion cannot be rejected. Different nominal rigidities across European countries and EMU countries, specifically, cannot be explained by different degrees of money illusion.
    Keywords: cost of living; subjective well-being; price index; money illusion
    JEL: I31 D12 D60 C23 D31
    Date: 2015–03

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