nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2016‒11‒27
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. What's the good of education on our overall quality of life?: a simultaneous equation model of education and life satisfaction for Australia By Nattavudh Powdthavee; Warn N. Lekfuangfu; Mark Wooden
  2. Lower in rank, but happier: the complex relationship between status and happiness By Bert Van Landeghem; Anneleen Vandeplas
  3. Individual Well-Being and the Allocation of Time Before and After the Boston Marathon Terrorist Bombing By Andrew Clark; Elena Stancanelli
  4. The Host with the Most? The Effects of the Olympic Games on Happiness By Paul Dolan; Georgios Kavetsos; Christian Krekel; Dimitris Mavridis; Robert Metcalfe; Claudia Senik; Stefan Szymanski; Nicolas R. Ziebarth
  5. The shorter workweek and worker wellbeing: Evidence from Portugal and France By Anthony Lepinteur

  1. By: Nattavudh Powdthavee; Warn N. Lekfuangfu; Mark Wooden
    Abstract: Many economists and educators favour public support for education on the premise that education improves the overall quality of life of citizens. However, little is known about the different pathways through which education shapes people's satisfaction with life overall. One reason for this is because previous studies have traditionally analysed the effect of education on life satisfaction using single-equation models that ignore interrelationships between different theoretical explanatory variables. In order to advance our understanding of how education may be related to overall quality of life, the current study estimates a structural equation model using nationally representative data for Australia to obtain the direct and indirect associations between education and life satisfaction through five different adult outcomes: income, employment, marriage, children, and health. Although we find the estimated direct (or net) effect of education on life satisfaction to be negative and statistically significant in Australia, the total indirect effect is positive, sizeable and statistically significant for both men and women. This implies that misleading conclusions regarding the influence of education on life satisfaction might be obtained if only single-equation models were used in the analysis.
    Keywords: Australia; indirect effect; education; structural equation model; life satisfaction; HILDA
    JEL: I20 I32
    Date: 2015–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ehl:lserod:61801&r=hap
  2. By: Bert Van Landeghem; Anneleen Vandeplas
    Abstract: Case studies across the social sciences have established a positive relationship between social status and happiness. In observational data, however, identification challenges remain severe. This study exploits the fact that in India people are assigned a caste from birth. In data on 1000 individuals living in the Punjab, a state with a large income gap between middle and high castes in spite of similar education levels, we find that those in the middle are the least happy. Our findings resemble those described by the famous paradox of unhappy Olympic silver medal winners, which finds a V-shaped relation between status and happiness. The same trend is much less pronounced in data on 1000 individuals living in the state of Andhra Pradesh with much smaller economic differences between castes. We hypothesize that these patterns reflect the relatively high weight of upward comparisons for middle caste groups in Punjab, based on their stronger similarity in ability attributes with castes higher up in the hierarchy.
    Keywords: subjective well-bejing, happiness, social status, social comparison
    Date: 2016–09–29
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ete:licosp:556194&r=hap
  3. By: Andrew Clark (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 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
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-01302843&r=hap
  4. By: Paul Dolan (LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science, Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); Georgios Kavetsos (Queen Mary University of London - Queen Mary University of London, Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); Christian Krekel (DIW Berlin - DIW Berlin, PSE - Paris School of Economics); Dimitris Mavridis (OECD - OECD - OECD); Robert Metcalfe (University of Chicago); Claudia Senik (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne); Stefan Szymanski (University of Michigan (USA)); Nicolas R. Ziebarth (Cornell University)
    Abstract: We show that hosting the Olympic Games in 2012 had a positive impact on the life satisfaction and happiness of Londoners during the Games, compared to residents of Paris and Berlin. Notwithstanding issues of causal inference, the magnitude of the effects is equivalent to moving from the bottom to the fourth income decile. But they do not last very long: the effects are gone within a year. These conclusions are based on a novel panel survey of 26,000 individuals who were interviewed during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013, i.e. before, during, and after the event. The results are robust to selection into the survey and to the number of medals won.
    Keywords: Olympic Games,natural experiment,subjective wellbeing,life satisfaction,happiness
    Date: 2016–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-01349354&r=hap
  5. By: Anthony Lepinteur (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Mandatory reductions in the workweek can be used by governments to attempt to reduce unemployment, and are usually assumed to improve the well-being of workers. Nevertheless, the net impact of shorter workweeks on worker welfare is ambiguous ex ante and little empirical effort has been devoted to identify how worker satisfaction changes with mandatory reductions in working time. Using data from the European Community Household Panel, this paper evaluates the impact of the exogenous reductions in weekly working hours induced by reforms implemented in Portugal and France. Difference-in-difference estimation results suggest that reduced working hours generated significant and robust increases in job and leisure satisfaction of the workers affected in both countries, with the rise in the former mainly being explained by greater satisfaction with working hours and working conditions.
    Keywords: Working-hours reductions,job satisfaction
    Date: 2016–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-01376209&r=hap

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