nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
five papers chosen by

  1. Aspirations and income, food security and subjective well-being in rural Ethiopia By Mekonnen, Daniel Ayalew; Gerber, Nicolas
  2. Early Maternal Employment and Non-cognitive Outcomes in Early Childhood and Adolescence: Evidence from British Birth Cohort Data By Lekfuangfu, Warn N.; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Clark, Andrew E.; Ward, George
  3. INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE IN THE GREAT RECESSION By Daniel Schneider,; Sara McLanahan; Kristen Harknett
  4. Fairness for Children. A league table of inequality in child well-being in rich countries By UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  5. Income Inequality among Children in Europe 2008–2013 By Yekaterina Chzhen; Sudhanshu Handa; Emilia Toczydlowska; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

  1. By: Mekonnen, Daniel Ayalew; Gerber, Nicolas
    Abstract: Despite some improvements in recent years, poverty and food insecurity remain widespread and the main challenges in Ethiopia. Using individual and household level data collected in rural Ethiopia, we examine if aspirations are strongly associated with well-being outcomes, as posited in the aspirations failure framework articulated by Ray (2006) and others. We employ both bivariate and multivariate analyses. We find that aspirations (particularly that of the household head) are indeed strongly associated with the household per-capita income and expenditure and with various triangulating measures of household food (in)security including per-capita calorie consumption, the food consumption score (FCS), the household dietary diversity score (HDDS), and the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS). Contrary to a few other studies, we also find strong evidence that, in rural Ethiopia, aspirations are positively associated with satisfaction in life and/or happiness. Findings in this study provide suggestive evidence that policies aimed at improving well-being outcomes might benefit from multiple effects (both direct and indirect) if they incorporate aspirations raising strategies.
    Keywords: Aspirations, income, poverty, food security, subjective well-being, Ethiopia, Agricultural and Food Policy, Consumer/Household Economics, Food Security and Poverty, Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, D03, I31, O12,
    Date: 2016–04
  2. By: Lekfuangfu, Warn N.; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Clark, Andrew E.; Ward, George
    Abstract: We analyse the relationship between early maternal employment and child emotional and behavioural outcomes in early childhood and adolescence. Using rich data from a cohort of children born in the UK in the early 1990s, we find little evidence of a strong statistical relationship between early maternal employment and any of the emotional outcomes. However, there is some evidence that children whose mother is in full-time employment at the 18th month have worse behavioural outcomes at ages 4, 7, and 12. We suggest that these largely insignificant results may in part be explained by mothers who return to full-time work earlier being able to compensate their children: we highlight the role of fathers’ time investment and alternative childcare arrangements in this respect.
    Keywords: child outcomes; maternal employment; well-being; conduct; ALSPAC
    Date: 2016–04
  3. By: Daniel Schneider, (University of California - Berkeley/UCSF); Sara McLanahan (Princeton University); Kristen Harknett (University of Pennsylvania)
    Abstract: In the United States, the Great Recession has been marked by severe negative shocks to labor market conditions. In this study, we combine longitudinal data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study with Bureau of Labor Statistics data on local area unemployment rates to examine the relationship between adverse labor market conditions and intimate partner violence between 1999 and 2010. We find that rapidly worsening labor market conditions are associated with increases in the prevalence of violent/controlling behavior in marriage. These effects are most pronounced among whites and those with at least some post-secondary education. Worsening economic conditions significantly increase the risk that white mothers and more educated mothers will be in violent/controlling marriages rather than high quality marital unions.
    Keywords: Recession, Uncertainty, Intimate Partner Violence, Gender
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: This Report Card presents an overview of inequalities in child well-being in 41 countries of the European Union (EU) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It focuses on ‘bottom-end inequality’ – the gap between children at the bottom and those in the middle – and addresses the question ‘how far behind are children being allowed to fall?’ in income, education, health and life satisfaction.Across the OECD, he risks of poverty have been shifting from the elderly towards youth since the 1980s. These developments accentuate the need to monitor the well-being of the most disadvantaged children, but income inequality also has far-reaching consequences for society, harming educational attainment, key health outcomes and even economic growth. A concern with fairness and social justice requires us to consider whether some members of society are being left so far behind that it unfairly affects their lives both now and in the future.This Report Card asks the same underlying question as Report Card 9, which focused on inequality in child well-being, but uses the most recent data available and includes more countries.
    Keywords: child poverty; child well-being; inequality; social inequality;
    JEL: I3
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Yekaterina Chzhen; Sudhanshu Handa; Emilia Toczydlowska; Zlata Bruckauf; UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre
    Abstract: With income inequality increasing and children exposed to higher risks of poverty and material deprivation than the population as a whole in the majority of European countries, there is a concern that income inequality among children has worsened over the financial crisis. This paper presents results on the levels of bottom-end inequality in children’s incomes in 31 European countries in 2013 and traces the evolution of this measure since 2008. The relative income gap worsened in 20 of the 31 European countries between 2008 and 2013. Social transfers play a positive role in reducing income differentials, as post-transfer income gaps are smaller than those before transfers, especially in countries like Ireland and the United Kingdom. Countries with greater bottom-end income inequality among children have lower levels of child well-being, and higher levels of child poverty and material deprivation.
    Keywords: child poverty; child well-being; income distribution; income groups;
    Date: 2016

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