nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒04‒02
ten papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Asymmetric Experience of Positive and Negative Economic Growth: Global Evidence Using Subjective Well-Being Data By De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Ward, George W.; De Keulenaer, Femke; van Landeghem, Bert; Kavetsos, Georgios; Norton, Michael I.
  2. Concerns about the Euro and Happiness in Germany during Times of Crisis By Adrian Chadi
  3. Material well-being and development: insights on the Preston curve1 By Massimo TAMBERI
  4. Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier! By Thierry Pénard; Alexandre Mayol
  5. Beyond Income: A Study of Multidimensional Poverty in Chile By Bronfman, Javier
  6. Sleep duration and life satisfaction By Piper, Alan T.
  7. Agency, Human Dignity and Subjective Well-Being By Daniel Hojman; Alvaro Miranda
  8. Using the Life Satisfaction Approach to Value Daylight Savings Time Transitions: Evidence from Britain and Germany By Daniel Kuehnle; Christoph Wunder
  9. QUALITY OF EDUCATION, DIGNITY, AND LOCAL DEVELOPMENT - PEJA CASE By Sejdi Rexhepi; Argjenita Shatri; Leutrim Rexhepi; Blerina Alimehaj
  10. Does the Burglar Also Disturb the Neighbor? Crime Spillovers on Individual Well-being By Daniel Avdic; Christian Bünnings

  1. By: De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel (University College London); Ward, George W. (CEP, London School of Economics); De Keulenaer, Femke (Ipsos); van Landeghem, Bert (University of Sheffield); Kavetsos, Georgios (London School of Economics); Norton, Michael I. (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: Are individuals more sensitive to losses than gains in terms of economic growth? Using subjective well-being data, we observe an asymmetry in the way positive and negative economic growth are experienced. We find that measures of life satisfaction and affect are more than twice as sensitive to negative economic growth as compared to positive growth. We use Gallup World Poll data from over 150 countries, BRFSS data on 2.5 million US respondents, and Eurobarometer data that cover multiple business cycles over four decades. This research provides a new perspective on the welfare cost of business cycles and has implications for growth policy and our understanding of the long-run relationship between GDP and subjective well-being.
    Keywords: economic growth, business cycles, subjective well-being
    JEL: D03 O11 D69 I39
    Date: 2015–03
  2. By: Adrian Chadi (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)
    Abstract: This empirical study investigates if people’s concerns about the euro currency affect their life satisfaction. A minority of very concerned individuals appear to be unhappy, which cannot be explained by personality or other observable factors typically affecting well-being. As a novelty, this investigation exploits exogenous variation in reported concerns by using the intensity of media coverage on the euro crisis with its extraordinary events throughout the year 2011 as an instrument. Results from the application of several empirical approaches confirm that there is an effect from being concerned about the euro on people’s satisfaction with life. The first potential explanation is that perceived economic insecurity works as a transmission channel, but this is not fully supported by the empirical evidence. A second explanation suggests that political beliefs and euro-skeptic attitudes are at play and may trigger unhappiness as a consequence of a perceived lack of representation in German politics. In line with this argument, a regional analysis links the variation in unhappiness among concerned citizens to the actual votes for Germany’s first major anti-euro party in the subsequent federal elections.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction, euro crisis, currency, concerns, political protest, sensitive information, media coverage, instrumental variable, SOEP
    JEL: D72 H11 I31
    Date: 2015–03
  3. By: Massimo TAMBERI (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: Life expectancy is a subject of natural interest, also because it is an obvious index of welfare. In 1975 Preston revealed a clear connection between the level of per capita income and life expectancy and this is the subject of this paper. Several authors show that the exact nature of this association is not clear and/or analyzed, and, moreover, the curve is subject to other limitations (e.g.: endogeneity). I show that the use of alternative variables, instead than income, gives very good results and makes a step forward in reducing the limits of the Preston curve.
    Keywords: Economic Development, Preston Curve, Well-being
    JEL: I15 O10
    Date: 2015–03
  4. By: Thierry Pénard (CREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, France); Alexandre Mayol (PSE, University Paris 1)
    Abstract: This paper aims to study how Facebook use influences individual well-being. We use a survey conducted on a representative sample of 2,000 French Facebook users. Our results show that Facebook interferes with subjective well-being through its effects on friendships and self-esteem. Hence we find a positive relation between receiving a great number of Likes and comments from Facebook friends and the level of life satisfaction. By contrast, people that would like to receive more Likes tend to be more unsatisfied with their life. The latter result suggests that Facebook use can exacerbate frustration and envy. Finally, the time spent on Facebook, the intensity of online interactions as well as the number of Facebook friends have no direct impact on life satisfaction. All these findings underlines the ambivalence of Facebook use with both positive and negative psychological effects on well-being.
    Keywords: dévaluation, Facebook, self esteem, well-being, Internet, online sociability
    Date: 2015–03
  5. By: Bronfman, Javier
    Abstract: Using the latest nationally representative household survey for Chile, this paper empirically assesses multidimensional poverty both at the national and subnational level. Based on the Alkire-Foster method and focusing on four dimensions of well-being –education, health, income and living standard– this study estimates the level and depth of multidimensional poverty for Chile in 2011. At national level, the results show that fewer individuals are subject to multidimensional poverty compared to the number of poor people estimated using the national income poverty line, however, large variance is found at the regional level, some regions present higher levels of multidimensional poverty than income poverty. Nonetheless, multidimensional poverty at the regional level appears to be varied, both in terms of prevalence and its nature. The multidimensional nature of this methodology provides a deeper understanding of poverty and deprivation, thus it complements income poverty estimates by informing policymakers about the joint distribution of several deprivations. This information can be used to better design and target poverty alleviation programs, as well as better allocate resources at the regional and local level.
    Keywords: Multidimensional Poverty, Capability Approach, Chile
    JEL: I31 I32
    Date: 2014–12–01
  6. By: Piper, Alan T.
    Abstract: Sleep is an important part of life, with an individual spending an estimated 32 years of her life asleep. Despite this importance, little is known about life satisfaction and sleep duration. Using German panel data, it is shown that sleep is an important factor for life satisfaction and that maximal life satisfaction is associated with about eight hours of sleep on a typical weekday. This figure represents, on average, an hour more than people currently sleep suggesting that more sleep would lead to a higher reported satisfaction with life.
    Keywords: Sleep, Life Satisfaction, GSOEP, fixed effects
    JEL: C23 D10 I31
    Date: 2015–03
  7. By: Daniel Hojman; Alvaro Miranda
    Abstract: In the last decades, our understanding of human well-being and development has shifted from a traditional focus on income and consumption towards a richer multidimensional approach. This shift has been strongly influenced by a body of research in subjective well-being (SWB) and the capabilities approach, which emphasizes the role of freedom and opportunities on well-being. This paper explores the relationship between different measures of subjective well-being and two â€hidden dimensions†of development, agency and discrimination. Using statistical techniques that allow to isolate personal traits that could affect both SWB and capabilities perceptions, we document a strong relationship between life satisfaction and agency, comparable to the effect of income variables. Discrimination perceptions seem to affect more job satisfaction than life satisfaction for those who work.
    Date: 2015–03
  8. By: Daniel Kuehnle; Christoph Wunder
    Abstract: Daylight savings time (DST) represents a public good with costs and benefits. We provide the first comprehensive examination of the welfare effects of the spring and autumn transitions for the UK and Germany. Using individual-level data and a regression discontinuity design, we estimate the effect of the transitions on life satisfaction. Our results show that individuals in both the UK and Germany experience deteriorations in life satisfaction in the first week after the spring transition. We find no effect of the autumn transition. We attribute the negative effect of the spring transition to the reduction in the time endowment and the process of adjusting to the disruption in circadian rhythms. The effects are particularly strong for individuals with young children in the household. We conclude that the higher the shadow price of time, the more difficult is adjustment. Presumably, an increase in flexibility to reallocate time could reduce the welfare loss for individuals with binding time constraints.
    Keywords: Daylight savings time, life satisfaction, regression discontinuity, UK, Germany
    JEL: H41 I31
    Date: 2015
  9. By: Sejdi Rexhepi (University of Pristina \); Argjenita Shatri (University of Peja \); Leutrim Rexhepi (South Eastern European University,Tetovo); Blerina Alimehaj (University of Peja \)
    Abstract: Economic development in general, is linked primarily with the use and valorization of existing local natural resources and human. Using of comparative advantage offered by local resources with the aim of generating employment and income for the local and national economy is closely related to education. Educated population will not only lead to the growth of national income but in multiplicative way will lead to increased employment, economic development and growth. Countries have applied different systems and reforms in education. However, as a result of various economic, political and also historical factors, these reforms have not always given the desired results.The purpose of this paper is that, through a concrete case, to investigate the impact of the quality of the existing primary and secondary system of education in quality of life and human dignity, primarily through the ability to create human resources able to find job and together with it to generate economic growth and development. Basic hypothesis are related to the assumptions that; the success of the students is dependent with the family and its approach to education and work; the success of reform in education is closely linked with financial resources as well as with created culture for and to education of implementers but also other stakeholders; and, that the basis of the driving motive for learning, is closely linked with the economic situation and in particular the level of employment.Through primary sources, data are collected from selected samples as a source of information for this research, which are students aged 11-19 years, 25-50 years age parents, teachers, officials and managers of educational institutions, as are; preschool, primary, low secondary and higher secondary schools. Through secondary resources, are explained the theoretical concepts that deals with the quality of education. Documents and strategies of education, papers works and research in this field are analyzed; laws and regulations as well as the managing and teaching structure. The methodology used for data processing will be in the function of achieving results which will enable us professional and scientific recommendations.
    Keywords: Quality of education, education system, educational process, educational institutions, development, local economic development.
    JEL: I25
    Date: 2014–05
  10. 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: 2015–02

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