nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒10‒23
eight papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Impact of War on Happiness: the Case of Ukraine By Tom Coupé; Maksym Obrizan
  2. The Impact of Terrorism on Expectations, Trust and Happiness: The Case of the November 13 Attacks in Paris, France By Tom Coupe
  3. The Impact of Stock Market Fluctuations on the Mental and Physical Wellbeing of Children By Chad Cotti; David Simon
  4. Experiences of Peer Bullying among Adolescents and Associated Effects on Young Adult Outcomes: Longitudinal Evidence from Ethiopia, India, Peru and Viet Nam By Maria José Ogando Portela; Kirrily Pells; Patricia Espinoza Revollo; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
  5. The Common Ratio Effect in Choice, Pricing, and Happiness Tasks By Mark Schneider; Mikhael Shor
  6. Individual Well-Being and the Allocation of Time Before and After the Boston Marathon Terrorist Bombing By Andrew Clark; Elena Stancanelli
  7. Keeping Up with the Joneses as an Outcome of Getting Ahead of the Smiths. A Two-Stage Veblenian Status Game By Frédéric Gavrel
  8. The Development and Happiness of Very Young Children By Paul Anand; Laurence Roope

  1. By: Tom Coupé (University of Canterbury); Maksym Obrizan
    Abstract: In this paper, we study how war affects happiness using data from the on-going conflict in Ukraine. Using a difference-in-difference design, we find that the average level of happiness declined substantially in areas that experience war directly, with the drop in happiness being roughly comparable to the loss of happiness a relatively well-off person would experience if he/she were to become a poor person. At the same time, despite the fact that the war in the East dominates the local media in Ukraine, respondents in other regions of Ukraine are about as happy as they were before the war.
    Keywords: Happiness; War; Ukraine
    JEL: I3 N44
    Date: 2016–10–13
  2. By: Tom Coupe (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: I use quasi-experimental evidence to measure the impact of the November 13, 2015 attacks in Paris, France on various channels through which terrorism can affect the economy. The evidence suggest the attacks reduced optimism and increased trust in the national government but did not affect current life satisfaction nor political orientation.
    Keywords: Terrorism, Trust, Happiness, Expectations
    JEL: I31 F52 Z13
    Date: 2016–10–19
  3. By: Chad Cotti (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh); David Simon (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The stock market crash of 2008 caused a severe impact to households. Earlier research has explored the impacts of a stock market crash on life wellbeing, psychological stress, and adult health behaviors. We extend this literature by documenting impacts of stock market fluctuations on a range of child outcomes; including effects on both mental and physical health. We show a negative effect of a market crash on hospitalizations, child reported health status, sick days from school, and emotional difficulties. Both graphical and regression based analysis reveal that our results are not driven by a pre-trend of declining child health before the market crash.
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Maria José Ogando Portela; Kirrily Pells; Patricia Espinoza Revollo; UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti
    Abstract: Being bullied has been found to have a significant impact on children’s physical and mental health, psychosocial well-being and educational performance, with lasting effects into adulthood on health, well-being and lifetime earnings. Little is known about bullying in low- and middle-income countries, however. This study uses a mixed methods approach combining survey analysis of the predictors and associations with being bullied, with qualitative data to explore the context in which bullying occurs and the social processes that underpin it. Findings show that better data collection and increased resource allocation to bullying prevention are needed. The development and evaluation of different types of effective, sustainable and scalable bullying prevention models in low- and middle-income country contexts are priorities for programming and research.
    Keywords: education; ethnicity; gender based violence; mental health; physical abuse;
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Mark Schneider (Chapman University); Mikhael Shor (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The Allais common ratio effect is one of the most robust violations of rational decision making under risk. In this paper, we conduct a novel test of the common ratio effect in which we elicit preferences for the common ratio choice alternatives in choice, pricing, and happiness rating tasks. We find that both the consistency and distribution of responses differs systematically across tasks, with modal choices replicating the Allais preference pattern, modal happiness ratings exhibiting consistent risk aversion, and modal prices maximizing expected value. We discuss the predictions of various cognitive explanations of the common ratio effect in the context of our experiment. We find that a dual process framework provides the most complete account of our results. Surprisingly, we also find that although the Allais pattern was the modal behavior in the choice task, none of the 158 respondents in our experiment exhibited the Allais pattern simultaneously in choice, happiness, and pricing tasks. Our results constitute a new paradox for the leading theories of choice under risk. JEL Classification: Key words: Common Ratio Effect; Preference Reversals; Dual Processes; Happiness Ratings
    Date: 2016–05
  6. By: Andrew Clark (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC), PSE - Paris School of Economics); Elena Stancanelli (PSE - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: There is a small literature on the economic costs of terrorism. We consider the effects of the Boston marathon bombing on Americans’ well-being and time allocation. We exploit data from the American Time Use Survey and Well-Being Module in the days around the terrorist attack to implement a regression-discontinuity design. The bombing led to a significant and large drop of about 1.5 points in well-being, on a scale of one to six, for residents of the States close to Boston. The happiness of American women also dropped significantly, by almost a point, regardless of the State of residence. Labor supply and other time use were not significantly affected. We find no well-being effect of the Sandy Hook shootings, suggesting that terrorism is different in nature from other violent deaths.
    Keywords: Well-being,Time Use,Terrorism
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Frédéric Gavrel (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - UR1 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In a status game, homogenous individuals first decide on their income (and on the effort necessary to that end) with the aim at Getting ahead of the Smithes (GAS). Next, they make use of a pure positional good to make incomes visible. Although the GAS hypothesis is ordinal, the signalling costs induce cardinal social concerns. The GAS hypothesis, translated into the KUJ (Keeping Up with the Joneses) (pride) concern, generates an equilibrium in which identical agents have unequal income levels. This equilibrium is an egalitarian optimum. But utilitarian and Paretian inefficiency are the price paid for equality.
    Keywords: Efficiency,Conspicuous consumption,Well-being,Status game,Social concerns,Income inequalities
    Date: 2016–05–24
  8. By: Paul Anand; Laurence Roope
    Abstract: The paper demonstrates how Sen’s (1985) alternative approach to welfare economics can be used to shed light on the wellbeing of very young children. More specifically, we estimate versions of the three key relations from his framework using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP, 2012) Survey. Our primary models provide evidence that skills are related to involvement in cognate activities with a parent, indicating a behavioural relationship between capabilities and activities which is not explicit in Sen’s original set-up, but is key to the development and happiness of young children. A second set of models indicates that the daily activities of very young children are related to household income but that in some cases the association with parenting inputs is stronger. Thirdly, we report happiness regressions for the children which seem to suggest that shopping and reading are valued but that their distribution is limited in some cases – probably either by household income or parental education. Across the piece, we find that the number of siblings is negatively related to activity involvement with parents, as hypothesised by Becker, but positively related to everyday, motor and social skills. Combined with evidence from other studies, we conclude that the capability approach provides a useful framework for understanding the economics of wellbeing across the entire life course.
    Keywords: child development, well-being, happiness, daily activities, capabilities
    JEL: D60 I31 J13
    Date: 2016

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