nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒07‒16
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Years of good life based on income and health: Re-engineering cost-benefit analysis to examine policy impacts on wellbeing and distributive justice By Richard Cookson; Owen Cotton-Barrett; Matthew Adler; Miqdad Asaria; Toby Ord
  2. Does Money Relieve Depression? Evidence from Social Pension Eligibility By Chen, Xi; Wang, Tianyu
  3. Home sweet home? Macroeconomic conditions in home countries and the well-being of migrants. By Akay, Alpaslan; Bargain, Olivier; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  4. Public Credit Guarantees and Access to Finance By Carlos Gozzi, Juan & Schmukler, Sergio

  1. By: Richard Cookson (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK); Owen Cotton-Barrett (University of Oxford, Oxford, UK); Matthew Adler (Duke University, North Carolina, USA); Miqdad Asaria (Centre for Health Economics, University of York, York, UK); Toby Ord (Duke University, North Carolina, USA)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a practical measure of individual wellbeing to facilitate the economic evaluation of public policies. We propose to evaluate policies in terms of years of good life gained, in a way that complements and generalises conventional cost-benefit analysis in terms of money. We aim to show how years of good life could be measured in practice by harnessing readily available data on three important elements of individual wellbeing: income, health-related quality of life, and longevity. We also aim to identify the main ethical assumptions needed to use this measure.
    Date: 2016–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:chy:respap:132cherp&r=hap
  2. By: Chen, Xi (Yale University); Wang, Tianyu (Beijing Academy of Social Sciences)
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of receiving pension benefits on mental well-being using China's New Rural Pension Scheme launched in 2010, the largest pension program in the world. More than four hundred million Chinese have enrolled in the program, and the program on average amounts to one fifth of pensioners' earned income. We find a salient increase in pension benefits and poverty alleviation around the pension eligibility age cut-off. Employing an instrumental variable approach to a national sample of the China Family Panel Studies, our empirical strategy overcomes the endogeneity of pension receipt that prevents us from identifying the causal effect of income change on mental health as measured by the full version of CES-D and depressive symptoms. Results reveal a sizeable reduction in depression susceptibility due to pension income. The improvement in mental health is larger for vulnerable populations with financial and health constraints. We further discuss potential pathways through which pension may affect mental health.
    Keywords: pension income, depression, mental health, older populations
    JEL: H55 I18 I38 J14
    Date: 2016–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10037&r=hap
  3. By: Akay, Alpaslan (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and University of Gothenburg); Bargain, Olivier (Aix-Marseille University); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and Harvard University)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the subjective well-being of migrants is responsive to fluctuations in macroeconomic conditions in their country of origin. Using the German Socio-Economic Panel for the years 1984 to 2009 and macroeconomic variables for 24 countries of origin, we exploit country-year variation for identification of the effect and panel data to control for migrants' observed and unobserved characteristics. We find strong evidence that migrants' well-being responds negatively to an increase in the GDP of their home country. That is, migrants seem to regard home countries as natural comparators, which grounds the idea of relative deprivation underlying the decision to migrate. The effect declines with years-since-migration and with the degree of assimilation in Germany.
    Keywords: Migrants, well-being, GDP, unemployment, relative concerns/deprivation
    JEL: C90 D63 F22 O15
    Date: 2016–06–28
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:unm:unumer:2016038&r=hap
  4. By: Carlos Gozzi, Juan & Schmukler, Sergio (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries’ happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the longobserved ranking -- one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables -- is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.
    Keywords: credit guarantees, public guarantees, SME financing, access to finance, public risk absorption
    JEL: E44 G28 H11
    Date: 2016
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:wrk:warwec:1122&r=hap

This nep-hap issue is ©2016 by Viviana Di Giovinazzo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.