nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒01‒08
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Connecting Alone: Smartphone Use, Quality of Social Interactions and Well-being By Valentina, Rotondi; Luca, Stanca; Miriam, Tomasuolo;
  2. Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing By McDool, Emily; Powell, Philip; Roberts, Jennifer; Taylor, Karl
  3. The Relationship between Life-Domain Interactions and the Well-Being of Internationally Mobile Employees By Felix Ballesteros-Leiva; Gwénaëlle Poilpot-Rocaboy; Sylvie St-Onge
  4. Cum-cives, ie citizens of the polis, and urban policy By Stefano Aragona
  5. Your Spouse Is Fired! How Much Do You Care? By Nikolova, Milena; Ayhan, Sinem H.

  1. By: Valentina, Rotondi; Luca, Stanca; Miriam, Tomasuolo;
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role played by the smartphone for the quality of social interactions and subjective well-being. We argue that the intrusiveness of the smartphone reduces the quality of face-to-face interactions and their positive impact on well-being. We test this hypothesis in a large and representative sample of Italian individuals. We find that time spent with friends is worth less, in terms of subjective well-being, for individuals who use the smartphone. This finding is robust to the use of alternative empirical specifications or instrumental variables to deal with possible endogeneity. In addition, consistent with the hypothesis that the smartphone undermines the quality of face-to-face interactions, the positive association between time spent with friends and satisfaction with friends is less strong for individuals who use the smartphone.
    Keywords: Smartphone, Social interactions, Subjective well-being
    JEL: A12 I31 O33
    Date: 2016–12–31
  2. By: McDool, Emily (University of Sheffield); Powell, Philip (University of Sheffield); Roberts, Jennifer (University of Sheffield); Taylor, Karl (University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: Childhood circumstances and behaviours have been shown to have important persistent effects in later life. One aspect of childhood that has changed dramatically in the past decade, and is causing concern among policy makers and other bodies responsible for safeguarding children, is the advent of social media, or online social networking. This research explores the effect of children's digital social networking on their subjective wellbeing. We use a large representative sample of 10-15 year olds over the period 2010 to 2014 from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, and estimate the effect of time spent chatting on social websites on a number of outcomes which reflect how these children feel about different aspects of their life, specifically: school work; appearance; family; friends; school attended; and life as a whole. We deal with the potential endogeneity of social networking via an instrumental variables approach using information on broadband speeds and mobile phone signal strength published by Ofcom. Our results suggest that spending more time on social networks reduces the satisfaction that children feel with all aspects of their lives, except for their friendships; and that girls suffer more adverse effects than boys. As well as addressing policy makers' concerns about the effects of digital technology on children, this work also contributes to wider debates about the socioeconomic consequences of the internet and digital technologies more generally, a debate which to date has largely been based on evidence from outside of the UK.
    Keywords: digital society, social media, wellbeing, children
    JEL: D60 I31 J13
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Felix Ballesteros-Leiva; Gwénaëlle Poilpot-Rocaboy; Sylvie St-Onge
    Date: 2016–12–16
  4. By: Stefano Aragona
    Abstract: Objectives The issues of happiness and well-being of the citizens are central in the work of urban planners and land planners . This is the purpose of their existence in the modern city , as considered , for example by Franco Pure from the sixteenth century. The same Athens? Charta drawn up in the 30s of ' 900 was created with these objectives. For several decades the market has taken more and more space, because the policy has pull back itself and has left to the economy the decisive role in the planning, and therefore also in social choices. The paper aims to highlight the socially and spatially devastating outcomes, also environmentally, of those choices. Then it suggests urban policies that, instead, can be effective and not only efficient ones Methods, techniques, modes of inquiry, data sources Following the phenomenological philosophy, the paper carries out quantitative and qualitative analysis is of some concrete cases, differentiated by size and location. Eg. in Rome while there are 50,000 people (of a total population of 2,880,000 inhabitants approx) with housing needs, 110,000 housing unities are empty. It is clear that there is a disequilibrium either social that physical. But there is also a qualitative study, using tools such as eg. the Fair and Equitable Wellbeing and (BES) proposed by ISTAT-CNEL alongside those suggested by the Charter of Quality by AUDIs (Association of Urban Disused Areas) since 2007. These two instruments put emphasis on the need to confront the issues addressed in a multidisciplinary way, so with a multicriteria, ?integrated?, approach. In a broader perspective that goes back to '"human ecology". School of thought that has the two cosentin philosophers, ie Bernardino Telesio (with the "Philosophy of Nature") and his disciple Thomas Campanella (the author of "The City of the Sun"), as fathers in the modern age and then the various thinkers of Anglo-Saxon origin as H.D. Thoreau, W. Whitman, then I.L. McHarg, P. Soleri etc. the latest references. References that are the basis of the goals of the EU strategies. These are declared and evident, as example, in "Smart City" (2007) where it is said that the goal is ?to buold local Communities, inclusive and sustainable, either materially and socially. An important element of the study is the time, because the land use decisions have consequences often do not revealed immediately. This means test the effects in the short, medium, and long period. Conclusions The paper, having highlighted the gaps and inconsistencies of the actual philosophy of action, essentially based on the market, thanks to the mention of "best pratices" proposes a different path. Highlighting the benefits and conditions necessary to ensure that the policy, and therefore the planning of territories and cities, goes back to being effective and therefore useful: that is to be the art of managing the polis for its citizens, its cum-cives
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Nikolova, Milena (IZA); Ayhan, Sinem H. (IZA)
    Abstract: This study is the first to provide a causal estimate of the subjective well-being effects of spousal unemployment at the couple level. Using German panel data on married and cohabiting partners for 1991-2013 and information on exogenous job termination induced by workplace closure, we show that spousal unemployment reduces the life satisfaction of indirectly-affected spouses. The impact is equally pronounced among female and male partners. Importantly, the results are not driven by an income effect, but likely reflect the psychological costs of unemployment. Our findings are robust to a battery of sensitivity checks and imply that public policy programs aimed at mitigating the negative consequences of unemployment need to consider within-couple spillovers.
    Keywords: unemployment, involuntary job loss, plant closure, spouses, well-being
    JEL: I31 J01 J65
    Date: 2016–12

This nep-hap issue is ©2017 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.