nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒04‒19
nine papers chosen by

  1. Volunteer and satisfied? Rural households’ participation in a payments for environmental services programme in Inner Mongolia By Sylvie Démurger; Adeline Pelletier
  2. Scholarships vs. training for happiness gained from education in creativity: an analytical model By F. Zagonari
  3. Is Happiness a Predictor of Election Results? By George Ward
  4. Do teacher-student relations affect students' well-being at school? By OECD
  5. Efektywnosc instytucji a jakosc zycia w kontekscie globalnej gospodarki wiedzy By Adam P. Balcerzak
  6. Nurses’ Motivation and Satisfaction at Work: an exploratory study at the Centro Hospitalar S. João By Fátima Gomes; Teresa Proença
  7. A Nudge in the Dark. An artefactual experiment investigating the effects of priming in the presence of distractions By Michael Sanders
  8. Managing Emotions: Emotional Labor or Emotional Enrichment By Chandwani, Rajesh; Sharma, Dheeraj
  9. Not Feeling Well… (True or Exhaggerated ?) Health (un)Satisfaction as a Leading Health Indicator By Maria Bachelet; Leonardo Becchetti; Fabiola Ricciardini

  1. By: Sylvie Démurger (Université de Lyon, F-69007, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, 93, Chemin des Mouilles, F-69130, Ecully, France); Adeline Pelletier (The Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom ; Instituto de Empresa – IE University, María de Molina, 31 Bis, 28006 Madrid, Spain)
    Abstract: Using survey data from Inner Mongolia, this paper explores the role of stakeholder engagement in the implementation of the Sloping Land Conversion Programme (SLCP), a payments for environmental services programme designed to restore forest in degraded land. Based on the idea that volunteerism and satisfaction with the programme’s outcome are two important components of the programme’s viability, we successively analyse the intensity of households’ participation in the programme and their reported satisfaction with its economic achievement, which we relate to their stated volunteerism. We show that households’ participation intensity in the SLCP is primarily driven by land and location characteristics, and that these findings hold true whether or not the households voluntarily enrolled in the programme. Moreover, as far as participants’ satisfaction can be interpreted as an indicator of potential long-term support for the programme, our findings also support plausible sustainability for the programme.
    Keywords: Payments for environmental services, Sloping Land Conversion Programme, Household participation, Life satisfaction, China
    JEL: Q15 Q57 Q58 O53
    Date: 2015
  2. By: F. Zagonari
    Abstract: This paper presents an analytical model of the dynamic interrelationships between education, creativity, and happiness based on both theoretical insights and recent empirical neurological studies. In the model, the outcome is conditional on individual intelligence and risk aversion. Specifically, it focuses on two main determinants of creativity (divergent and convergent thinking), and compares two main educational policies (scholarships vs. training) in terms of their impacts on the happiness gained from creativity in the general and healthy population. An empirical test is provided by matching the model’s predictions with the results of recent neuroscience research. Numerical simulations suggested that improving convergent thinking is more important than improving divergent thinking for creativity to generate happiness throughout an individual’s life, provided both divergent and convergent thinking have achieved a sufficiently large degree; and that unstructured training in divergent thinking (e.g., in accounting schools) is necessary to reach richer but less intelligent people, whereas scholarships or unstructured training in convergent thinking (e.g., in art schools) are necessary to reach more intelligent but less rich people.
    JEL: I1 I3 Z1
    Date: 2015–04
  3. By: George Ward
    Abstract: Is it in politicians' interest to focus policy on subjective well-being (SWB)? Many governments and international organisations have recently begun to measure progress at least partly in terms of the population's SWB or "happiness". This paper investigates the extent to which citizens themselves judge national success in such terms. Using cross-country panel data, the analysis shows that the electoral fate of governing parties is associated not only with the state of the macroeconomy—as a substantial literature on 'economic voting' suggests—but also with the electorate's wider well-being. A country's aggregate level of SWB is able to account for more of the variance in government vote share than standard macroeconomic variables. This is consistent with a simple political agency model, and has implications for the incentives faced by politicians to act in the interests of voters.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, political agency, elections
    JEL: I31 D72
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: OECD
    Abstract: Children spend about a third of their waking hours in school during most weeks in the year. Thus, schools have a significant impact on children’s quality of life – including their relationships with peers and adults, and their dispositions towards learning and life more generally. Longitudinal studies suggest that students’ results on the PISA test are correlated with how well students will do later on in life; but strong performance in standardised assessments like PISA explains only so much of future results in other endeavours. Success and well-being in life also depend on how well students have been able to develop socially and emotionally.
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Adam P. Balcerzak (Nicolaus Copernicus Universiyt, Poland)
    Abstract: The purpose of the article was to evaluate the relationship between the level of institutional effectiveness in the context of global knowledge economy (KBE) and quality of life for the EU countries in 2004-2010. To measure the intitutional effectiveness authors proposed a synthetic indicator, which was constructed with the TOPSIS method. Variables cocnerning four aspects characterizing the institutional system in the context of the country's ability to exploit the potential of KBE were used in the research. The data was obtained from the Fraser Institute database. The Human Development Index was used as a measure of quality of life. In the econometric analysis, panel model was used, which allowed to identify positive relationship between the institutional factors associated with the use of the potential of KBE on the quality of life.
    Keywords: efficiency of the institutional system, quality of life, Human Deve-opment Index, global knowledge-based economy
    Date: 2015–04
  6. By: Fátima Gomes (Hospital de S. João); Teresa Proença (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: This study aims to assess nurses’ motivation and satisfaction and measure the impact of socio-demographical and socio-professional variables, namely professional contract. A questionnaire was delivered to a sample consisting of 560 nursing professionals of the second major Hospital in Portugal, Hospital São João (HSJ): 277 nurses on public contract, 173 on open ended contract and 110 on fixed term contract. Results show that the relationship with the patients is the most important factor for nurses’ satisfaction, followed by satisfaction with the job content. Remuneration is the factor in which nurses show the least satisfaction. Nurses with a fixed contract, the most insecure of all, are the ones with greater motivation and satisfaction, contrary to what is expected according to content motivational theories. However, they also have greater expectation that their performance can improve their contract, what may explain the previous results. This paper also suggests that work and the type of contract has an impact on personal life and vice-versa, namely on the intent of leaving the job, on the marital status and the number of children.
    Keywords: motivation, satisfaction, nursing, professional contract
    JEL: J28
    Date: 2015–04
  7. By: Michael Sanders
    Abstract: “Nudges" - small, usually cheap, interventions to alter the behaviour of individuals to improve their “health, wealth or happiness", are increasingly popular with governments and have thus far played a large role in the coalition government's attempts to encourage pro-social behaviour. The power of many of these nudges, such as the effect of priming in a trust-game type scenario, has been tested widely in the lab, but have proven difficult to replicate in the field. Although the laboratory allows a sterile environment, this is not always desirable - the real world is not sterile, and there are often many different factors competing for an individual's attention. We present the results of an experiment conducted during the course of a busy public engagement event at the University of Bristol, where members of the public, with little or no knowledge of economic theory, were invited to take part in a game during which they received incidental priming. We find that although the effect of...
    Date: 2014–07
  8. By: Chandwani, Rajesh; Sharma, Dheeraj
    Abstract: Concept of ‘emotional labor’ has undergone many transformations since Hochschild (1983) described it. Researchers have broadened its scope by including emotion management by professionals in different roles, exploring its positive or beneficial aspects, and studying the contingency factors influencing the process of emotion management. In this paper we attempt to relate both positive and negative aspects of emotion management by exploring factors that may affect the outcomes. Self selection into the role which involves emotion work is identified as the key factor which determines whether it will be perceived as positive or negative, thus influencing the outcome of emotion work. Concept of “emotional enrichment” is introduced to describe a process diametrically opposite to “emotional labor”, resulting from job satisfaction and personal accomplishment, leading to physical, emotional and psychological well being. The two aspects of the consequences of emotion work and the antecedents and moderating factors are represented in a comprehensive model.
  9. By: Maria Bachelet (Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Leonardo Becchetti (DEDI and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Fabiola Ricciardini (ISTAT)
    Abstract: A desirable property of subjective wellbeing indicators is their capacity to predict future objective outcomes. In our paper we provide novel cross-country original evidence documenting that lagged health (un)satisfaction is a leading health indicator, that is, a significant predictor of future changes in health conditions on a large sample of Europeans aged above 50. We find that, after controlling for attrition bias, lagged (un)satisfaction with health is significantly and positively correlated with changes in the number of chronic diseases, net of the concurring impact of levels and changes in socio-demographic factors and health styles, country and regional health system effects and declared symptoms. Our findings are robust in age, gender, education and income class splits and are significant when separately estimated in the 13 countries of our sample. We further test the ordinal predictive properties of the health (un)satisfaction indicator in magnitude and statistical significance. Illness specific estimates document that the impact of lagged health (un)satisfaction is significant on ulcer, hypertension, arthritis and cholesterol (and weakly so on cataracts, hip or femoral fracture and lung diseases), while having a robust and significant effect on the probability of contracting cancer.
    Keywords: health outcomes, health satisfaction
    JEL: I12 I31
    Date: 2015–04–02

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