nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒08‒21
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. This paper examines whether a terrorist attack in a developed country without a major damage to its capital stocks affects mental health of the residents of target country. By exploiting the variations in survey dates of European Social Survey (ESS), we use difference-in-differences strategy to show that the attack adversely affects subjective well-being and mental health measures of French respondents. These negative effects are stronger for the immigrants and the single people. The impact is less dramatic for politically extreme right-wing supporters. The distance from the origin and residency in border countries have little impact on the measures. By Young-Il Kim; Dongyoung Kim
  2. Increasing Ambient Temperature Reduces Emotional Well-Being By Clemens Noelke; Mark E. McGovern; Daniel J. Corsi; Marcia Pescador-Jimenez; Ari Stern; Ian Sue Wing; Lisa Berkman
  3. What canÕt money buy? Wellbeing and GDP since 1820 By Auke Rijpma

  1. By: Young-Il Kim (School of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul); Dongyoung Kim (School of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul)
    Keywords: Charlie Hebdo, Mental health, Terrorism, Subjective well-being, Cost of terrorism.
    JEL: D74 I10 I12 I31
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Clemens Noelke; Mark E. McGovern; Daniel J. Corsi; Marcia Pescador-Jimenez; Ari Stern; Ian Sue Wing; Lisa Berkman
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of ambient temperature on emotional well-being in the U.S. population aged 18+. The U.S. is an interesting test case because of its resources, technology and variation in climate across different areas, which also allows us to examine whether adaptation to different climates could weaken or even eliminate the impact of heat on well-being. Using survey responses from 1.9 million Americans over the period from 2008 to 2013, we estimate the effect of temperature on well-being from exogenous day-to-day temperature variation within respondents' area of residence and test whether this effect varies across areas with different climates. We find that increasing temperatures significantly reduce well-being. Compared to average daily temperatures in the 50 to 60°F (10 to 16°C) range, temperatures above 70°F (21°C) reduce positive emotions (e.g. joy, happiness), increase negative emotions (e.g. stress, anger), and increase fatigue (feeling tired, low energy). These effects are particularly strong among less educated and older Americans. However, there is no consistent evidence that heat effects on well-being differ across areas with mild and hot summers, suggesting limited variation in heat adaptation.
    Keywords: Mental Health; Heat Exposure; Climate Impacts; Subjective Well-Being; Social Inequality
    JEL: I30 Q54
    Date: 2016–07
  3. By: Auke Rijpma
    Abstract: This paper provides a overview of developments in wellbeing in the world since 1820 using seven indicators. To this end, a composite indicator is constructed using a latent variable model able to deal well with missing data and measurement error issues. Overall, this composite indicator gives an optimistic, if divergent picture of developments in wellbeing. Wellbeing increased substantially in most regions of the world since at least the early twentieth century. At the same time, the divergence of Western Europe and its offshoots with the rest of the world in the nineteenth century is stronger. Convergence in the past decades, however, is also more pronounced. In more recent decades, low-income countries have made more progress in the composite indicator than in per capita GDP. The composite indicator also shows a segmented relation with income, suggesting diminishing returns to income. Improvements in wellbeing indicators over time exogenous to GDP and country-specific characteristics were an important part of this.
    Keywords: wellbeing, long-term economic growth, economic history
    Date: 2016–08

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 For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. 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.