nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒10‒10
eight papers chosen by

  1. A Cross-State Comparison of Measures of Subjective Well-Being By Song, Younghwan
  2. Race, Class, Gender, and the Happiness of College Students By Owen, Ann L.; Handley-Miner, Isaac
  3. Direct Evidence for Income Comparisons and Subjective Well-Being across Reference Groups By Goerke, Laszlo; Pannenberg, Markus
  4. Consumption smoothing and the welfare cost of uncertainty By Yonas Alem; Jonathan Colmer
  5. Moving to an Earnings-Related Parental Leave System - Do Heterogeneous Effects on Parents Make Some Children Worse Off? By Katrin Huber
  6. Sex, Race, and Job Satisfaction among Highly Educated Workers By Hersch, Joni; Xiao, Jean
  7. Measuring Youth Well-Being — options appraisal for a pan-European longitudinal survey By Aleksandrs Aleksandrovs; Ilze Koroleva
  8. Zmiany parametrów jakości życia młodych Europejczyków - implikacje dla przedsiębiorstw By Gawlik, Remigiusz

  1. By: Song, Younghwan (Union College)
    Abstract: Using data drawn from the 2010 American Time Use Survey Well-Being Module, this study examines the relationship between three measures of subjective well-being based on time-use data and an objective measure of well-being. Whereas the measures of affect – net affect and the U-index – are uncorrelated with the objective quality-of-life ranking of the fifty states in the United States, the measure of meaningfulness shows a significant correlation with objective ranking. The reason for the significant correlation between the measure of meaningfulness and the objective measure of well-being is because, when engaged in similar activities, people living in states with better quality of life felt, after controlling for their individual characteristics, their lives to be more meaningful than those living in states with poor amenities, not because time use varies substantially by state.
    Keywords: time use, subjective well-being, U-index, net affect, meaningfulness
    JEL: I31 J22
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Owen, Ann L.; Handley-Miner, Isaac
    Abstract: Using data from students at 25 selective colleges from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshman (NLSF), we estimate regressions with college-specific random effects and find that males, white students, those who have at least one parent who completed college, and those with higher family incomes relative to others at their college report higher levels of emotional well-being and life evaluation. We also investigate college characteristics that are correlated with student happiness and find that students report higher levels of happiness at schools that are more racially homogeneous, have lower tuition, and fewer students that have financial need. We show that fraternity dominance reduces the negative impact of greater racial diversity on student happiness, possibly because fraternities allow students to reduce the incidence of cross-racial interactions.
    Keywords: diversity; happiness; race; class; gender
    JEL: I2 Z1
    Date: 2015–09
  3. By: Goerke, Laszlo (IAAEU, University of Trier); Pannenberg, Markus (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences)
    Abstract: This note provides evidence for the relationship between income comparisons and subjective well-being (SWB), using novel German data on self-reported comparison intensity and perceived relative income for seven reference groups. We find negative correlations between comparison intensity and SWB for colleagues, people in the same occupation and friends, but not for other reference groups, such as neighbours. Work-related income comparisons are mostly upwards and there is a strong negative correlation between perceiving to earn less than the reference group and SWB.
    Keywords: income comparisons, German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), relative income, subjective well-being
    JEL: D31 D62 I31
    Date: 2015–09
  4. By: Yonas Alem; Jonathan Colmer
    Abstract: When agents are unable to smooth consumption and have distorted beliefs about the likelihood of future income realisations, uncertainty about future states of the world has a direct effect on individual welfare. However, separating the effects of uncertainty from realised events and identifying the welfare effects of uncertainty both present a number of empirical challenges. Combining individual-level panel data from rural and urban Ethiopia with high-resolution meteorological data, we estimate the empirical relevance of uncertainty on objective consumption and subjective well-being. While negative income shocks affect both objective consumption measures and subjective well-being, greater income uncertainty only has an affect on subjective well-being. A one standard deviation change in income uncertainty is equivalent to a one standard deviation change in realised consumption. These results indicate that the welfare gains from further consumption smoothing are substantially greater than estimates based solely on consumption fluctuations.
    Keywords: Uncertainty; consumption smoothing; subjective well-being
    JEL: D8 I3 O12
    Date: 2015–08
  5. By: Katrin Huber
    Abstract: Can moving to an earnings-related parental leave system influence children’s wellbeing and are heterogeneous effects on parents carried over to the entire family, making special groups of children worse off than others? To answer this question, this study exploits a large and unanticipated parental leave reform in Germany as a natural experiment. By replacing a means-tested by an earnings-related system the reform affected different groups of families to a variable extent. I detect significant negative effects on the personality of newborns whose families are subject to a nonpositive change in the overall benefit amount compared to the pre-reform situation. 2-3-year-old children belonging to the reform’s winners, however, improve their basic life skills and language skills
    Keywords: Children’s Well-Being, Parental Leave, Heterogeneous Effects
    JEL: J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Hersch, Joni (Vanderbilt University); Xiao, Jean (Vanderbilt University)
    Abstract: There has been a considerable amount of work focusing on job satisfaction and sex, generally finding that women are more satisfied than men despite having objectively worse job conditions. But there is little evidence on whether job satisfaction differs by race or ethnicity. We use data from the 2010 National Survey of College Graduates to examine the relation between job satisfaction and race and ethnicity among Asian, black, Hispanic/Latino, and white workers. Overall job satisfaction does not differ by sex among college graduates. Relative to white workers of the same sex, Asian and black workers are far less satisfied. The lower satisfaction of Asian and black workers relative to white workers is not explained by immigrant status, job match, or other individual or job characteristics.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, gender, race and ethnicity, immigrants, college graduates, discrimination
    JEL: J15 J16 J28 J71
    Date: 2015–09
  7. By: Aleksandrs Aleksandrovs (Daugavipils University); Ilze Koroleva (Daugavpils University)
    Abstract: MYWeB project takes a balanced approach to assessing the feasibility of a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People (ELSCYP) through prioritising both scientific and policy imperatives. A Delphi study was carried out to help refine the list of options and criteria against which a development of a longitudinal survey was appraised. The focus of research was on finding a mutually beneficial meeting point between policy and research across Europe. Between October 2014 and February 2015, three questionnaires were issued to 334 panellist identified as experts in the fields of survey methodology, children and youth, well-being, and policy. Experts involved in the Delphi agreed that the role of evidence is important in social policy, particularly in order to have a better understanding of policy impact (65.6%), review the design of social policies (63.2%), monitor progress (60%) and measure the distribution of policy outcomes across different target groups (56.4%). There was a strong consensus amongst panel members that the evaluation of children and youth policies supports policy makers in improving policies (84.7%).
    Keywords: well-being, longitudinal survey, feasibility, delphi survey
    JEL: I30
  8. By: Gawlik, Remigiusz
    Abstract: The paper aims at presenting the results of initial research on the perception and understanding of quality of human life between young Europeans. A literature overview resulted in a brief presentation of actual state of knowledge about socio – economic understanding of quality of life. A list of material and non – material determinants of quality of life characteristic for the mentioned group has been presented. A number of theses has been assessed: 1. In past years one can observe a deterioration of socio – economic environment of young Europeans. 2. This fact has brought some limits to the possibilities of their personal and professional development. 3. Moreover, these changes force modifications inside the determinants of quality of life of young Europeans. 4. Therefore, early recognition of the nature of mentioned changes could allow companies a more precise adaptation to the needs and preferences of this new generation of consumers. Direct interviews have been adopted as the main research method. The paper contains also an analysis of potential business implications of changing environment adaptation strategies of future employees and entrepreneurs from the young generation. Artykuł stanowi prezentację wyników wstępnych badań nad zmianami w postrzeganiu jakości życia przez młodych Europejczyków. W wyniku analizy literatury przedstawiono zwarte podsumowanie obecnego stanu wiedzy na temat jakości życia. Przedstawiono charakterystyczną dla wspomnianej grupy listę wyznaczników jakości życia z podziałem na czynniki materialne i niematerialne. Postawiono i przeanalizowano następujące tezy: 1. W ostatnich latach nastąpiła deterioracja społeczno – ekonomicznego otoczenia Młodych Europejczyków. 2. Doprowadziła ona do ograniczenia możliwości rozwoju zawodowego i osobistego młodych ludzi w Europie. 3. Wspomniane zjawiska znajdują odzwierciedlenie w zmianie struktury wyznaczników jakości życia europejskich Młodych. 4. Odpowiednio wczesne i precyzyjne rozpoznanie kierunków tych zmian pozwoli przedsiębiorstwom na precyzyjniejsze dopasowanie się do potrzeb i preferencji pokolenia młodych konsumentów. Do badań zastosowano metodę wywiadów bezpośrednich. Przeanalizowano potencjalne implikacje dla przedsiębiorstw wynikające ze zmienności warunków funkcjonowania i strategii adaptacyjnych młodego pokolenia przyszłych pracowników i przedsiębiorców.
    Keywords: wyznaczniki jakości ludzkiego życia, badania jakościowe, zmiany w otoczeniu przedsiębiorstw
    JEL: I31 M21
    Date: 2015

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NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.