nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2015‒11‒21
six papers chosen by

  1. Distaste for Centralization: Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Switzerland By Sarah Flèche
  2. Happiness in the air: How does dirty sky affect subjective well-being?: By Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Xiaobo; Chen, Xi
  3. Gender empowerment gaps in agriculture and children’s well-being in Bangladesh: By Malapit, Hazel J.; Sraboni, Esha; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Ahmed, Akhter U.
  4. Job Satisfaction and Employee Turnover: A Firm-level Perspective By Frederiksen, Anders
  5. Relative income and life statisfaction of Turkish immigrants: The impact of a collectivistic culture By Dumludag D.; Gokdemir O.; Vendrik M.C.M.
  6. Unhappy development : dissatisfaction with life in the wake of the Arab spring By Arampatzi,Efstratia; Burger,Martijn; Ianchovichina,Elena; Röhricht,Tina; Veenhoven,Ruut

  1. By: Sarah Flèche
    Abstract: Do people care about the degree of centralization? This paper examines the effects of local centralization reforms on individuals' well-being using a quasi-natural experiment in Switzerland. The results reveal that centralization has a causal negative impact on individuals' life satisfaction. Consistent with the concept of procedural utility, centralization reduces individuals' feeling of having political influence and interest in politics. In contrast, there are no impacts on individuals' satisfaction with local governments' performance. These findings shed new light on what people value in decentralized institutions.
    Keywords: Decentralization, life satisfaction, public spending, procedural utility
    JEL: H11 H40 I31
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Xiaobo; Chen, Xi
    Abstract: Existing studies that evaluate the impact of pollution on human beings understate its negative effect on cognition, mental health, and happiness. This paper attempts to fill in the gap via investigating the impact of air quality on subjective well-being using China as an example. By matching a unique longitudinal dataset at the individual level, which includes self-reported happiness and mental well-being measures, with contemporaneous local air quality and weather information according to the exact date and place of interview, we show that worse air quality reduces shorter-term hedonic happiness and increases the rate of depressive symptoms. However, life satisfaction, an evaluative measure of happiness, is largely immune from immediate bad air quality.
    Keywords: air pollution, welfare, psychology, hedonic happiness, life satisfaction, mental well-being, air quality,
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Malapit, Hazel J.; Sraboni, Esha; Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Ahmed, Akhter U.
    Abstract: Development programs that reduce gender gaps are expected to not only improve women’s well-being, but also their children’s. This draws on a growing body of literature that shows a strong positive association between women’s status and control over resources and improvements in children’s outcomes, particularly nutrition and education. In this paper, we provide empirical evidence on the relationship between empowerment gaps between men and women in the same household and children’s well-being using nationally representative data from the 2012 Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey (BIHS). We measure children’s well-being using nutritional status for younger children (ages 0–5) and education outcomes for older children (ages 6–10 and 11–17). We measure relative empowerment using direct measures of empowerment collected from men and women in the same households using the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index. Our findings suggest that gender gaps in empowerment are only weakly linked to children’s nutrition, although different measures of empowerment reveal significant differences between boys’ and girls’ outcomes, depending on the measures used. Overall, the household head’s (father’s) education is significantly associated with better nutrition and education outcomes for children, but younger girls (ages 6–10) and older boys and girls (ages 11–17) are more likely to receive more education when mothers are more educated. Our results on parental education suggest that fathers’ empowerment may be reflecting a “wealth†effect that is invested in children’s nutrition and education when they are young, while mothers’ empowerment becomes more important in girls’ education in general and keeping older children, regardless of sex, in school.
    Keywords: gender, women, education, nutrition, children, social welfare, households, role of women, empowerment, well being,
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Frederiksen, Anders
    Abstract: In this paper, I study an employment situation where the employer and the employees cooperate about the implementation of a job satisfaction survey. Cooperation is valuable because it improves the firm's ability to predict employee quits, but it is only an equilibrium outcome because the employer-employee relation is repeated and long-term. Using a unique combination of firm-level data and information from job satisfaction surveys, the empirical analysis reveals that the cooperation reduces the firm's employee turnover costs significantly by improving its ability to predict quits. This cost reduction may easily exceed the cost of conducting the survey. The analysis also reveals that the firm is willing to sacrifice profits in a given year to be able to sustain the cooperative relationship with the employees.
    Keywords: quits, job satisfaction, cooperation, retention
    JEL: M5
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Dumludag D.; Gokdemir O.; Vendrik M.C.M. (GSBE)
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of social comparison with a wide range of reference groups on the life satisfaction of Turkish immigrants in the Netherlands. For two sets of ethnic and life-domain reference groups, results are obtained that deviate from the findings of recent studies and that suggest the impact of the collectivistic subculture of the Turkish immigrants. Perceived importance of income comparison with Dutch natives is positively correlated to life satisfaction, supporting an interpretation of this comparison as a positive emancipatory stimulus in the pursuit of self-improvement of the Turkish immigrants. Perceived importance of income comparison with relatives in the Netherlands is positively correlated to life satisfaction as well, which can be interpreted in terms of an underlying feeling of connectedness with ones relatives. On the other hand, Turkish immigrants who have a higher household income than relatives are significantly less satisfied with their life, suggesting the unattractiveness of deviating too much from ones relatives. For other reference groups some interesting results are obtained as well.
    Keywords: General Welfare; Economics of Minorities, Races, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification;
    JEL: I31 Z13 J15
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Arampatzi,Efstratia; Burger,Martijn; Ianchovichina,Elena; Röhricht,Tina; Veenhoven,Ruut
    Abstract: Despite progress in economic and social development in the 2000s, there was an increasing dissatisfaction with life among the population of many developing Arab countries. At the end of the decade, these countries ranked among the least happy economies in the world?a situation that fits the so-called ?unhappy development? paradox. The paradox is defined as declining levels of happiness at a time of moderate-to-rapid economic development. This paper empirically tests the strength of association of a range of objective and subjective factors with life evaluation in the Middle East and North Africa region in the years immediately preceding the Arab Spring uprisings (2009?10). The findings suggest a significant, negative association between life satisfaction levels in the region during this period and each of the main perceived reasons for the 2011 uprisings?dissatisfaction with the standard of living, poor labor market conditions, and corruption.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Disease Control&Prevention,Population Policies,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures
    Date: 2015–11–12

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