nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
seven papers chosen by

  1. On the Relationship between Lifestyle and Happiness in the UK By Gschwandtner, Adelina; Jewell, Sarah L.; Kambhampati, Uma
  2. The most miserable and the most blissful individuals in Brazil By André Braz Golgher; Raquel Zanatta Coutinho
  3. Happy Moves? Assessing the Link Between Life Satisfaction and Emigration Intentions By Ivlevs, Artjoms
  4. Prenatal Testosterone Exposure Predicts Mindfulness – Does This Mediate Its Effect on Happiness? By Levent Neyse; Patrick Ring; Steven Bosworth
  5. Conspicuous work : peer working time, labour supply, and happiness for male workers By Collewet M.M.F.; Grip A. de; Koning J. de
  6. The Occupational Segregation of Black Women in the United States: A Look at its Evolution from 1940 to 2010 By Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
  7. Anthropometric Dividends of Czechoslovakia's Break Up By Costa-Font, J.;; Kossarova, L.;

  1. By: Gschwandtner, Adelina; Jewell, Sarah L.; Kambhampati, Uma
    Abstract: In the present paper we attempt to analyse the relationship between ‘lifestyle’ and happiness in the UK using an instrumental variable approach. Our lifestyle variables have a significantly positive impact on happiness and the impact increases with the use of instruments. This suggests that a ‘healthy lifestyle’ has a positive impact on happiness and that any policy improving our lifestyle proxies would also make people happier in the UK.
    Keywords: Wellbeing, Life Satisfaction, Happiness, Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle, Instrumental Variables, Health Economics and Policy, Risk and Uncertainty, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession, D31, I31,
    Date: 2015–04
  2. By: André Braz Golgher (Cedeplar-UFMG); Raquel Zanatta Coutinho (UNC-CH)
    Abstract: This paper is the last of a series of five papers that discuss factors associated with well-being in Brazil using the World Values Survey (WVS).The paper has three main objectives. The first is to compare descriptively the most blissful and most miserable individuals in Brazil in the year of 2006. Then, the paper defines the profiles among the Brazilian population and amongst these groups in regard to their responses to self-evaluated health status, marital status, unemployment status, importance given to family, self-determination, religiosity, thick trust and self-evaluated financial situation using Latent Class analysis. Based on these variables, we defined three profiles for the most miserable in Brazil entitled the financially poor, the unhealthy distrustful, and the lonely. For the most blissful, we obtained four profiles: the healthy, the self-determined unhealthy and financially poor individuals, the generalized blissful and the self-determined distrustful individuals. After this, we investigated which socio-demographic aspects are associated with the distribution of individuals among the different profiles using multinomial logistic models.
    Keywords: happiness, satisfaction with life, Brazil, LCA, WVS
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2014–12
  3. By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: It has been shown that higher levels of subjective well-being lead to greater work productivity, better physical health and enhanced social skills. Because of these positive externalities, policymakers across the world should be interested in attracting and retaining happy and life-satisfied migrants. This paper studies the link between life satisfaction and one's intentions to move abroad. Using survey data from 35 European and Central Asian countries, I find a U-shaped association between life satisfaction and emigration intentions: it is the most and the least life-satisfied people who are the most likely to express intentions to emigrate. This result is found in countries with different levels of economic development and institutional quality. The instrumental variable results suggest that higher levels of life satisfaction have a positive effect on the probability of reporting intentions to migrate. The findings of this paper raise concerns about possible 'happiness drain' in migrant-sending countries.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, life satisfaction, emigration, transition economies
    JEL: F22 O15 P2
    Date: 2015–04
  4. By: Levent Neyse; Patrick Ring; Steven Bosworth
    Abstract: This study investigates the connection between mindfulness and prenatal testosterone exposure and explores whether this is related to the relationship between mindfulness and human well-being as captured by three separate measures. In a sample of 90 German student participants, we find that subjects’ digit ratio – a reliable indicator for exposure to prenatal testosterone – predicts their Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS) scores. Respondents with moderate levels of testosterone exposure have the highest MAAS scores. We additionally elicit participants’ self-reported general life satisfaction and current happiness levels as well as their estimates about others’ general life satisfaction. We find that MAAS strongly predicts absolute and relative life satisfaction and also current happiness levels, but digit ratios do not mediate the relationship between human well-being and mindfulness
    Keywords: Mindfulness; Digit ratio (2D:4D); Prenatal Testosterone; Life Satisfaction; Happiness
    JEL: L8 O5
    Date: 2015–04
  5. By: Collewet M.M.F.; Grip A. de; Koning J. de (GSBE)
    Abstract: This paper uncovers conspicuous work as a new form of status seeking that can explain social interactions in labour supply. We analyse how peer working time relates to both labour supply and happiness for Dutch male workers. Using a unique measure of peer weekly working time, we find that mens working time increases with that of their peers and that peer working time is negatively related to mens happiness. These findings are consistent with a conspicuous work model, in which individuals derive status from working time.
    Keywords: Externalities; General Welfare; Time Allocation and Labor Supply;
    JEL: J22 I31 D62
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Olga Alonso-Villar; Coral del Río
    Abstract: Based on detailed occupation titles and making use of measures that do not require pairwise comparisons among demographic groups, this paper shows that the occupational segregation of Black women declined dramatically in 1940-1980, decreased slightly in 1980-2000, and remained stagnant in 2000-2010. An important contribution of this paper is the quantification of the well-being losses that these women derive from their occupational sorting. The segregation reduction was indeed accompanied by well-being improvements, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Regarding the role that education has played, this study highlights that, only from 1990 onward, Black women with either some college or university degrees had lower segregation (as compared with their peers) than those with lower education. Nevertheless, the well-being loss that Black women with university degrees derived in 2010 for being segregated from their peers in education was not too different from that of Black women with lower education.
    Keywords: occupational segregation measurement, race, gender, Black women, wages, United States
    JEL: J15 J16 J71
    Date: 2015–03
  7. By: Costa-Font, J.;; Kossarova, L.;
    Abstract: Processes of transition to democracy and country break up stand out as ideal experiments to estimate the impact of wide institutional reform on well-being. Changes in population heights are regarded as virtuous pointers of well-being improvements in psycho-social environments, which improve with democracy. We analyzed a unique dataset containing individual heights in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to measure the retrospective well-being effects of the two transitions to liberal democracy and capitalism after the split up of Czechoslovakia. An additional year spent under democracy increases height by 0.286cm for Slovaks and 0.148cm for Czechs. Results were robust to using an alternative dataset and suggest that although transition paths differ across the two countries, the absolute height gap between Slovaks and the Czechs did not change. Slovaks benefited more thanthe Czechs in the bottom and mid tercile.
    Keywords: height; democracy; transition; secession; Czechoslovakia; Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition; height dimorphism;
    Date: 2015–05

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