nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒06‒09
four papers chosen by

  1. Gender Differences in the Consequences of Divorce: A Multiple-Outcome Comparison of Former Spouses By Thomas Leopold
  2. Entrepreneurs and Freelancers: Are They Time and Income Multidimensional Poor? - The German Case By Joachim Merz; Tim Rathjen
  3. Do Losses Bite More than Gains? Evidence from a Panel Quantile Regression Analysis of Subjective Well-being in Japan By Zheng Fang; Yoko Niimi
  4. Can investments in social protection contribute to subjective well-being?: A cross-country analysis By Alexandre Kolev; Caroline Tassot

  1. By: Thomas Leopold
    Abstract: This study examined gender differences in the consequences of divorce for multiple measures of psychological, economic, and domestic well-being. I used household panel data from the German SOEP, retaining the link between initially married couples (N = 755) to compare both spouses over a period of up to four years before and after divorce. Findings showed that men were more vulnerable to short-term declines in subjective measures of well-being, whereas women experienced longer-term disadvantages in objective economic status. Taken together, these results suggest that women’s disproportionate income strain is chronic, whereas men’s disproportionate psychological and domestic strain is not.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Joachim Merz; Tim Rathjen (LEUPHANA University Lüneburg,Department of Economic, Behaviour and Law Sciences, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)))
    Abstract: Entrepreneurs and freelancers, the self-employed, commonly are characterized as not only to be relatively rich in income but also as to be rich in time because of their time-sovereignty in principle. Our introducing study scrutinises these results and notions about the well-being situation of self-employed persons not only by asking about traditional single income poverty but also by considering time poverty within the framework of a new interdependent multidimensional (IMD) poverty concept. The German Socio-economic panel with satisfaction data serves as the data base for the population wide evaluation of the substitution/compensation between genuine, personal leisure time and income. The available detailed Time Use Surveys of 1991/92 and 2001/2 of the Federal Statistics Office provide the data to quantify the multidimensional poverty in all the IMD poverty regimes. Important result: self-employed with regard to single income poverty, single time poverty and interdependent multidimensional time and income poverty in both years are much more affected by time and income poverty than all other active persons defining the working poor. A significant proportion of non-income-poor but time poor of the active population are not able to compensate their time deficit even by an above poverty income. These people are neglected so far within the poverty and well-being discussion, the discussion about the “working poor” and in the discussion about time squeeze and time pressure in general and in particular for the self-employed as entrepreneurs and freelancers.
    Keywords: Liberal professions (Freie Berufe), entrepreneurs, self-employed, interdependent multidimensional time and income poverty, time and income substitution, extended economic well-being, satisfaction/happiness, CES welfare function estimation, working poor, German Socio-Economic Panel, German Time Use Surveys 1991/02 and 2001/02
    JEL: D31 D13 J22
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Zheng Fang (School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, 14 Nanyang Drive, 637332, Singapore); Yoko Niimi (Asian Growth Research Institute, 11-4 Ohtemachi, Kokurakita-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 803-0814, Japan)
    Abstract: This paper conducts an empirical analysis of the distributional effects of the determinants of happiness by applying quantile regression techniques to panel data from the “Preference Parameters Study” of Osaka University, a nationally representative survey conducted in Japan. The key question examined in the paper is whether we observe an asymmetry between the effects of positive and negative changes on individual happiness, and if it exists, whether it is observed uniformly across the happiness distribution. Such an asymmetry is referred to as loss aversion in prospect theory. Loss aversion effects are analyzed with respect to relative income as well as expected future income changes. We find that feeling relatively poor has a greater negative effect on happiness than the positive effect of feeling relatively rich, i.e., losses bite more than gains. However, no evidence for loss aversion is detected with respect to expected future income changes as individual happiness is found to be more sensitive to gains than to losses, though the happiness of the least happy group is found to be affected more by losses than by equivalent gains.
    Keywords: Happiness, Japan, loss aversion, panel quantile regression, subjective well-being
    JEL: I31 C31
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Alexandre Kolev; Caroline Tassot
    Abstract: Subjective well-being has in recent years been recognised as a goal of development that captures non-monetary or subjective dimensions of well-being. The body of evidence on the individual and societal determinants of subjective well-being is growing, but the literature remains in its infancy as to the role of social protection despite important policy implications. The objective of this paper is to explore the relationship between investments in social protection (as a proxy for the level of social protection services received by the population) and individuals’ evaluative and experienced well-being. This paper thus provides new evidence on the relationship between social protection investments and subjective well-being based on a worldwide sample including 38 countries and covering low-, middle- and high-income countries. Furthermore, we study potential channels explaining this relationship by considering the effect on potential beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries as well as distributional effects.
    Keywords: social protection, government spending, social inclusion, subjective well-being
    JEL: H53 I30 I38
    Date: 2016–05–27

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