nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒03‒29
seven papers chosen by

  1. Does consuming more make you happier? Evidence from Chinese panel data By Wang, Haining; Cheng, Zhiming; Smyth, Russell
  2. Does Off-farm Employment Make Women in Rural Senegal Happy? By VAN DEN BROECK, Goedele; MAERTENS, Miet
  3. Terminal Decline in Well-Being: The Role of Social Orientation By Denis Gerstorf; Christiane A. Hoppmann; Corinna E. Löckenhoff; Frank J. Infurna; Jürgen Schupp; Gert G. Wagner; Nilam Ram
  4. Economic hardship and suicides By Korhonen Marko; PPuhakka Mikko; Viren Matti
  5. Early-life Exposure to Income Inequality and Adolescent Health and Well-being: Evidence from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study By Candace Currie; Frank J. Elgar; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  6. Welfare dynamics with synthetic panels : the case of the Arab world in transition By Dang,Hai-Anh H.; Ianchovichina,Elena
  7. Human resource management practices and organizational performance. The mediator role of immaterial satisfaction in Italian Social Cooperatives By Silvia Sacchetti; Ermanno C. Tortia; Francisco J. López Arceiz

  1. By: Wang, Haining; Cheng, Zhiming; Smyth, Russell
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between consumption and happiness, using panel data from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). We find that total consumption expenditure has a significant and positive effect on happiness, but we find no evidence of a non-linear relationship between consumption and happiness. There are heterogeneous effects of consumption on happiness across subsamples and for different types of consumption expenditure. We find that relative consumption matters, irrespective if the reference group is de-fined in terms of consumption at the community or county level or on the basis of age, education and gender. However, the extent to which comparison effects are upward looking, or asymmetric, depend on how the comparison group is defined. We also find that comparison with one’s past consumption has no significant effect on an individual’s happiness.
    Keywords: happiness, consumption, China
    JEL: A13 E21 I31 N35
    Date: 2015–07–24
  2. By: VAN DEN BROECK, Goedele; MAERTENS, Miet
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the impact of female wage employment in the Senegalese horticultural export industry on women’s wellbeing. We use a subjective wellbeing approach, based on self-reported happiness, to capture both income and non-income aspects of employment. We use original household- and individual-level survey data from the Saint-Louis region in Senegal and an instrumental variable approach. We find that female employment improves subjective wellbeing for the poorest women but not for women whose household income has moved well beyond the poverty threshold. Female employment improves women´s happiness through an income effect, as female employment leads to higher income levels and improved living standards, but the non-income effects of female employment reduce women’s happiness. This negative effect is related to a higher workload, low job satisfaction and changing gender roles. The positive income effect outweighs these negative non-income effects for poor women but not for relatively richer women.
    Keywords: female employment, subjective wellbeing, globalization, Senegal, Sub-Saharan Africa, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Labor and Human Capital, Production Economics, E24, I31, O12,
    Date: 2015–12
  3. By: Denis Gerstorf; Christiane A. Hoppmann; Corinna E. Löckenhoff; Frank J. Infurna; Jürgen Schupp; Gert G. Wagner; Nilam Ram
    Abstract: Well-being development at the end of life is often characterized by steep deteriorations, but individual differences in these terminal declines are substantial and not yet well understood. This study moved beyond the typical consideration of health predictors and explored the role of social orientation and engagement. To do so, we made use of social variables at the behavioral level (self-ratings of social participation) and the motivational level (valuing social and family goals), assessed two to four years before death. We applied single- and multi-phase growth models to up to 27-year annual longitudinal data from 2,910 now deceased participants of the nation-wide German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP; ageat death: M = 74 years; SD = 14; 48% women). Results revealed that leading a socially active life and prioritizing social goals in late life were independently associated with higher late-life well-being, less pronounced late-life decline, and a lateronset of terminal decline. Significant interaction effects suggested that the effects of (reduced) social participation and (lowered) social goals were compounding each other.compound. Findings also indicated that less decline in social participation was associated with shallower rates and a later onset of well-being decline. We found little evidence that valuing family goals is associated with late-life trajectories of well-being. Associations were independent of key correlates of well-being and mortality, including age at death, gender, education, disability, hospital stays, and goals in other life domains. We discuss possible pathways by which maintaining social orientation into late life may help mitigate terminal decline in well-being.
    Keywords: Successful aging, life satisfaction, social support, longitudinal change, development, mortality, German Socio-Economic Panel Study, SOEP
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Korhonen Marko (Department of Economics, University of Oulu); PPuhakka Mikko (Department of Economics, University of Oulu); Viren Matti (Department of Economics, University of Turku)
    Abstract: We investigate the determinants of aggregate suicides in 15 OECD countries during 1960 – 2010 using an economic model where changes in welfare constitute the propagation mechanism for suicide. In the model we assume that agents have habits in terms of their (level of) consumption. The relationship between actual consumption to this level of habit consumption provides us a hardship index which is the key variable in the empirical application. In this application, we compute the index for all sample countries and test whether we can predict changes in suicide with this index. The performance of this index is remarkably good. In practical terms, this means that at least some fraction of suicides is related to the well-being of individual agents. This is certainly consistent with most of the earlier research results. The novelty of our paper is, however, that we can explain changes in suicide with this single index that corresponds to a basic economic decision rule. Moreover, the results are strikingly robust in terms of the various control variables that have been suggested or used in previous empirical analyses.
    Keywords: suicide, habit persistence, economic hardship, Hall’s consumption function, co-integration
    JEL: I12 D91
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Candace Currie; Frank J. Elgar; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: Children and adolescents living in relative poverty – regardless of overall material conditions – tend to experience more interpersonal violence, family turmoil, and environmental hazards that increase risk of injury, engage in more health compromising behaviours (e.g., physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking), report lower subjective well-being, and exhibit more social skills deficits and emotional and behavioural problems.
    Keywords: adolescents; children; health; health conditions; income distribution;
    JEL: C42 R2
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Dang,Hai-Anh H.; Ianchovichina,Elena
    Abstract: This paper studies welfare dynamics, especially changes associated with middle-class status in countries in the Middle East and North Africa, before and after the Arab Spring transitions, using objective and subjective welfare measures. Absent panel data, the analysis employs state-of-the-art synthetic panel techniques using repeated cross sections of expenditure data from household surveys and subjective well-being data from value surveys, which were conducted during the 2000s and the Arab Spring period. The objective welfare dynamics indicate mixed trends. About half the poor in the 2000s moved out of poverty by the end of the decade, but chronic poverty remained high; upward mobility was strong in Syria and Tunisia, but downward mobility was pronounced in Yemen and Egypt. Subjective well-being dynamics suggest negative developments in most countries during the Arab Spring transitions. Low education achievement, informal worker status, and rural residency are positively associated with lower than average chances for upward mobility, and greater than average chances for downward mobility according to both types of welfare measures.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Services&Transfers to Poor,Inequality,Pro-Poor Growth,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–03–10
  7. By: Silvia Sacchetti (University of Stirling); Ermanno C. Tortia (University of Trento); Francisco J. López Arceiz (Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Universidad de Zaragoza)
    Abstract: The paper deals with the mediating role of immaterial satisfaction between substantive human resources (HR) features and organizational performance. We address this relationship in the Italian social service sector using a survey dataset that includes 4134 workers and 320 not-for-profit social cooperatives. The obtained results show that human resource management (HRM) practices influence immaterial satisfaction and, satisfaction positively impacts on firm performance. However, the impact of the different HRM practices is not the same. In this sense, worker involvement and workload pressure have a positive impact on firm performance; but task autonomy or collaborative teamwork do not have impact on organizational performance.
    Keywords: Immaterial satisfaction; workload pressure; autonomy; involvement; teamwork; firm performance.
    JEL: J28 J81 L15 L25 L84 M54
    Date: 2016–02

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