nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒07‒04
six papers chosen by

  1. The Impact of Public Smoking Bans on Well-Being Externalities: Evidence From A Natural Experiment By Miaoqing Yang; Eugenio Zucchelli
  2. Trust, Well-Being and Growth: New Evidence and Policy Implications By Yann Algan; Pierre Cahuc
  3. The Life Satisfaction Advantage of Being Married and Gender Specialization By Mikucka, Malgorzata
  4. How does parenthood affect life satisfaction in Russia? By Mikucka, Malgorzata
  5. Is Happiness Really a Warm Gun? The Consequences of U.S. Weapons Sales for Political Violence By Arvind Magesan; Eik Leong Swee
  6. Revisiting Cheerful Jane and Miserable John: The impact of income, good health, social contacts and education declines with increasing subjective well-being By Martin Binder

  1. By: Miaoqing Yang; Eugenio Zucchelli
    Abstract: Recent studies on the effects of anti-smoking policies on subjective well-being present mixed results and focus mainly on smokers. We contribute to the literature by exploiting the policy experiment provided by the UK public smoking bans and evaluating the impact of smoking bans on the subjective well-being of smokers, non-smokers and couples of different types of smokers. We employ matching techniques combined with flexible difference-in-differences fixed effects panel data models on data from the British Household Panel Survey. We find that the UK public smoking bans appear to have a statistically significant short-term positive impact on the well-being of married individuals, especially among couples with dependent children. These effects appear to be substantial in size, robust to alternative specifications and may be driven by positive externalities due to parental altruism.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, smoking bans, policy evaluation, BHPS
    JEL: C21 C23 I10 I18
    Date: 2015–06
  2. By: Yann Algan (Département d'économie); Pierre Cahuc (Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This survey reviews the recent research on trust, institutions, and economic development. It discusses the various measures of trust and documents the substantial heterogeneity of trust across space and time. The conceptual mechanisms that explain the influence of trust on economic performance and the methods employed to identify the causal impact of trust on economic performance are reviewed. We document the mechanisms of interactions between trust and economic development in the realms of finance, innovation, the organization of firms, the labor market, and the product market. The last part reviews recent progress to identify how institutions and policies can affect trust.
    Keywords: Trust; Growth; Economic Development; Institutions; Well-being
    JEL: O11 O43 Z13
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Mikucka, Malgorzata
    Abstract: This investigation examined whether the life satisfaction advantage of married over unmarried persons decreased over the last three decades, and whether the changes in the contextual gender specialization explained this trend. The author used representative data from the World Values Survey–European Values Study (WVS–EVS)-integrated data set for 87 countries (N = 292,525) covering a period of 29 years. Results showed that the life satisfaction advantage of being married decreased among men but not among women. The analysis did not support the hypothesis that contextual gender specialization shaped the observed trend. Only in developed countries the declining contextual specialization correlated with smaller life satisfaction advantage of being married. This evidence suggests that the advantages of marriage are greater under conditions that support freedom of choice rather than economic necessity.
    Keywords: marriage; subjective well-being; time-trends; specialization;
    JEL: J1 J12
    Date: 2015–07–01
  4. By: Mikucka, Malgorzata
    Abstract: The literature on life satisfaction dynamics during parenthood relies largely on data from Western countries. This paper tests the generality of previous conclusions and theoretical models by confronting them with estimates from Russia. We apply fixed effects regression for panel data to the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey data from years 1994-2012. We focus on the dynamics of life satisfaction during parenthood and we investigate the moderating effect of age at first birth, income, and education. The trajectory of life satisfaction during parenthood in Russia differs from the Western one. Life satisfaction of parents does not temporarily increase in the period surrounding the first birth, but it increases during the period surrounding the second birth. Moreover, the long-term effect of parenthood on life satisfaction is positive. These results provide little support to the set-point theory of happiness, but are consistent with selection to parenthood. Planning of parenthood may be an important issue for future studies.
    Keywords: fertility; subjective well-being; set-point theory; demands and rewards of parenthood; selection; fixed-effects;
    JEL: Z19
    Date: 2015–07–01
  5. By: Arvind Magesan (University of Calgary); Eik Leong Swee
    Abstract: We exploit exogenous shifts in the cost of purchasing commercial weapons from the U.S. to uncover the causal effect of U.S. weapons purchases on political violence. We find that weapons purchases reduce the likelihood of political repression but increase the likelihood of onset of civil war in purchasing countries. The results suggest that state investment in military capability incites civil war in countries where state repression of an aggrieved opposition would have otherwise prevailed.
    Date: 2015–06–25
  6. By: Martin Binder (Bard College Berlin and Annandale-on-Hudson)
    Abstract: This short note seeks to replicate the quantile regression analysis in Binder and Coad (2011), but taking into account individual-specific fixed effects (using the BHPS data set). It finds declining effects of the four main variables of interest (health, social life, income, education) over the quantiles of the subjective well-being distribution, with attenuated effect sizes for the fixed-effects model. Equivalized log income has a negative impact on subjective well-being throughout the distribution. Apart from a number of robustness checks, existing research is extended by looking into the quantile effects of the above variables on a set of domain satisfactions.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, quantile regressions, heterogeneity, BHPS, life satisfaction
    JEL: I12 I31 R15
    Date: 2015–06–24

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