nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒10‒04
six papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Preliminary Estimates of Good Life Time (GLT) in Canada Using the General Social Survey By Michael Wolfson; Kar-Fai Gee
  2. An empirical analysis of the effects of human resource management practices on job satisfaction in non-profit By Ramon Bastida Vialcanet; Frederic Marimon; Lluís Carreras
  3. Does worker wellbeing affect workplace performance? By Alex Bryson; John Forth; Lucy Stokes
  4. Issues in the estimation of dynamic happiness models: A Comment on "Does childhood predict adult life satisfaction?" By Piper, Alan T.; Pugh, Geoffrey T.
  5. Research and Development Expenditures and Quality of Life in European Union Countries By Adam P. Balcerzak; Michal Bernard Pietrzak
  6. The Principal-Agent Problem, Economic Growth, Subjective Wellbeing and Social Instability: China’s Effective but Flawed Governance By John Knight

  1. By: Michael Wolfson; Kar-Fai Gee
    Abstract: There has been a recent resurgence of interest in measures of social progress and well-being that go beyond the conventional System of National Accounts measures, especially GDP and GDP per capita. In this context, Wolfson and Rowe (2010) have proposed Good Life Time (GLT) as an alternative / complement to traditional economic measures. GLT is based on a generalization of life expectancy and a person is said to be in GLT if they have adequate amounts of health, money, and the time to enjoy them. In this study, we develop a simple approach using public microdata from the 1992, 1998, 2005, and 2010 General Social Surveys. We conclude that issues related to high item non-response rates and lack of time series consistency in many of the key questionnaire items, especially in the money and health domains, likely overwhelm any time series trends obtained in this manner. Microsimulation or synthetic matching are therefore the recommended methods to obtain time series trends of GLT.
    Keywords: Well-Being, Health, Leisure Time, Income, Life Expectancy, Disabilities, Elderly Population
    JEL: I00 I10 I30 I19 I39 I31
    Date: 2015–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:sls:resrep:1514&r=all
  2. By: Ramon Bastida Vialcanet (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya); Frederic Marimon (Universitat Internacional de Catalunya); Lluís Carreras (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to establish a measurement scale for human resource management (HRM) practices in nonprofit organizations and to analyze their impact on the job satisfaction of their employees. The results demonstrate that 8 out of the 20 analyzed variables determine the measurement scale of HRM practices in these organizations. These variables are related to psychological demands, active work and development possibilities, social relations and leadership, and the degree of coherence in the organization with its principles. According to the results, these practices have an impact on job satisfaction in this type of nonprofit organization. The results are significant, given that these organizations employ 9-11.5% of the active population in European Union countries.
    Keywords: Human resource management; HRM; human resource practices; job satisfaction; non-profit organizations
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:sek:ibmpro:3005348&r=all
  3. By: Alex Bryson; John Forth; Lucy Stokes
    Abstract: This paper uses linked employer-employee data to investigate the relationship between employees’ subjective well-being and workplace performance in Britain. The analyses show a clear, positive and statistically-significant relationship between the average level of job satisfaction at the workplace and workplace performance. This finding is present in both cross-sectional and panel analyses and is robust to various estimation methods and model specifications. In contrast, we find no association between levels of job-related affect and workplace performance.
    Keywords: Subjective wellbeing; job satisfaction; job-related affect; workplace performance
    JEL: J28
    Date: 2015–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ehl:lserod:63803&r=all
  4. By: Piper, Alan T.; Pugh, Geoffrey T.
    Abstract: This short note offers methodological comments on an 'Economic Journal' article (Frijters, P., Johnston, D.W. and Shields, M.A. (2014). Does Childhood Predict Adult Life Satisfaction? Evidence from British Cohort Surveys. 'Economic Journal' 124(580): F688-F719). The comments consider its use of a dynamic model - the inclusion of a lagged dependent variable - and its employment of General Method of Moments (GMM) estimation.
    Keywords: Life Satisfaction,dynamic panel analysis,GMM
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2015
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201563&r=all
  5. By: Adam P. Balcerzak (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland); Michal Bernard Pietrzak (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland)
    Abstract: The improvement of quality of life of people is currently considered as the main responsibility of every government. Due to the emergence of knowledge-based economy, it is commonly believed that investments in research and development (R&D) at a given level are the necessary condition to create growth based on innovations, thus support welfare in case of developed countries. In this context the article is devoted to the analysis of influence of R&D expenditures on quality of life in case of European Union countries. As the main measure of quality of life Human Development Index was utilized. Thus, the article can be considered as an input to the discussion on the potential of HDI index for measuring the quality of live in case of narrow group of relatively developed countries. In the empirical part of the paper, panel data mythology fulfilling the postulates of dynamic estimation was used. The research was done for EU countries for the period 2004-2010. The empirical part takes into consideration the structural diversity between “old” and “new” members of the EU. First of all, the results can be treated as a voice confirming the usefulness of HDI as a measure of quality of life also from the perspective of narrow group of highly developed countries. Then, the research confirms the positive influence of R&D on European welfare only in the case of highly developed “old member”.
    Keywords: European Union, HDI, research and development expenditures, dynamic panel model
    JEL: I3 I31
    Date: 2015–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pes:wpaper:2015:no161&r=all
  6. By: John Knight
    Abstract: In China political control is centralised and economic management is decentralised. This gives rise to a serious principal-agent problem, in which the agents are often better informed than the principal. China also has a semi-marketised economy involving much state intervention. This intervention serves both a political and an economic function. It assists the Communist Party to remain in political command and generates formidable patronage resources. It also provides the policy instruments, including incentive structures for officialdom, to maintain a ‘developmental state’. The combination of economic decentralisation and semi-marketised economy creates a problem of weak accountability and a breeding ground for rent seeking and corruption. For a quarter of a century China’s leadership gave overwhelming priority to the objective of achieving rapid economic growth. This policy was viewed as providing political legitimacy and securing the best protection against social instability. It is argued that the leadership was able to solve the principal-agent problem in its pursuit of economic growth. By contrast, the solution to the principal-agent problem failed in other respects, giving rise to societal costs. Little attention was paid to the dramatic socioeconomic changes –including rising inequality and economic insecurity, environmental degradation, mass migration, rent seeking and corruption – which accompanied economic growth and posed new challenges. It is argued that these changes help to explain the failure of life satisfaction scores to rise over the two decades 1990-2010. They can also help to explain the rise in indicators of social instability over that period. It is to be hoped that the new leadership’s current anti-corruption campaign together with its declared policy intention to reduce state economic intervention and increase reliance on competitive markets will strengthen deterrence and weaken opportunities for rent seeking and corruption. The paper carries the implication that China’s economy cannot be well understood except through the lens of political economy. In China political control is centralised and economic management is decentralised. This gives rise to a serious principal-agent problem, in which the agents are often better informed than the principal. China also has a semi-marketised economy involving much state intervention. This intervention serves both a political and an economic function. It assists the Communist Party to remain in political command and generates formidable patronage resources. It also provides the policy instruments, including incentive structures for officialdom, to maintain a ‘developmental state’. The combination of economic decentralisation and semi-marketised economy creates a problem of weak accountability and a breeding ground for rent seeking and corruption. For a quarter of a century China’s leadership gave overwhelming priority to the objective of achieving rapid economic growth. This policy was viewed as providing political legitimacy and securing the best protection against social instability. It is argued that the leadership was able to solve the principal-agent problem in its pursuit of economic growth. By contrast, the solution to the principal-agent problem failed in other respects, giving rise to societal costs. Little attention was paid to the dramatic socioeconomic changes –including rising inequality and economic insecurity, environmental degradation, mass migration, rent seeking and corruption – which accompanied economic growth and posed new challenges. It is argued that these changes help to explain the failure of life satisfaction scores to rise over the two decades 1990-2010. They can also help to explain the rise in indicators of social instability over that period. It is to be hoped that the new leadership’s current anti-corruption campaign together with its declared policy intention to reduce state economic intervention and increase reliance on competitive markets will strengthen deterrence and weaken opportunities for rent seeking and corruption. The paper carries the implication that China’s economy cannot be well understood except through the lens of political economy.
    Keywords: Accountability, China, Developmental state, Governance, Life satisfaction, Political economy, Social instability
    JEL: H10 H70 O53 P16
    Date: 2015–09–15
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:oxf:wpaper:758&r=all

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