nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒01‒15
five papers chosen by

  1. The Effects of Non-Contributory Pensions on Material and Subjective Well Being By Rosangela Bando; Sebastian Galiani; Paul Gertler
  2. The Hidden Cost of Globalization: Import Competition and Mental Distress By Italo Colantone; Rosario Crinò; Laura Ogliari
  3. Does Job Support Make Workers Happy? By Petri Böckerman; Alex Bryson; Antti Kauhanen; Mari Kangasniemi
  4. Climate and Happiness in the Tropics By Arief Yusuf; Martin Daniel Siyaranamual; Aisyah Amatul Ghina; Megananda Suryana
  5. Helping with the Kids? How Family-Friendly Workplaces Affect Parental Well-Being and Behavior By Verena Lauber; Johanna Storck

  1. By: Rosangela Bando; Sebastian Galiani; Paul Gertler
    Abstract: Public expenditures on non-contributory pensions are equivalent to at least 1 percent of GDP in several countries in Latin America and is expected to increase. We explore the effect of non-contributory pensions on the well-being of the beneficiary population by studying the Pension 65 program in Peru, which uses a poverty eligibility threshold. We find that the program reduced the average score of beneficiaries on the Geriatric Depression Scale by nine percent and reduced the proportion of older adults doing paid work by four percentage points. Moreover, households with a beneficiary increased their level of consumption by 40 percent. All these effects are consistent with the findings of Galiani, Gertler and Bando (2016) in their study on a non-contributory pension scheme in Mexico. Thus, we conclude that the effects of non-contributory pensions on well-being in rural Mexico can be largely generalized to Peru.
    JEL: I0
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Italo Colantone; Rosario Crinò; Laura Ogliari
    Abstract: We study the effect of import competition on workers’ mental distress. To this purpose, we source information on the mental health of British workers from the British Household Panel Survey, and combine it with measures of import competition in more than 100 industries over 2001-2007. We find an increase in import competition to have a positive, statistically significant, and large impact on mental distress. The effect is strikingly robust to controlling for a wide range of individual, household, and industry characteristics. We show that part of the effect is due to import competition worsening the current labor market situation of individuals, in terms of higher probability of job displacement and lower wage growth. Additionally, and most importantly, we show that import competition worsens mental health also for individuals witnessing no change in observable labor market conditions, by increasing stress on the job and worsening expectations about the future.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, trade adjustment costs, individual-level panel data
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Petri Böckerman (Turku School of Economics, Labour Institute for Economic Research and IZA); Alex Bryson (University College London, National Institute of Social and Economic Research and Institute for the Study of Labor); Antti Kauhanen (The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy); Mari Kangasniemi (Labour Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using linked employer-employee data for Finland we examine associations between job design and ten measures of worker wellbeing. In accordance with Karasek's (1979) model we find positive correlations between many aspects of worker wellbeing and job control. However, contrary to the model, job demands have no adverse effects on worker wellbeing. We find a strong positive correlation between job support and all aspects of worker wellbeing that is independent of job controls and job demands, a finding that has not been emphasized in the literature. The effects are most pronounced in relation to supervisor support. We also find evidence of unemployment scarring effects: substantial experience of unemployment has long-term consequences for the wellbeing workers experience in their current jobs, even controlling for the quality of those jobs.
    Keywords: Worker wellbeing; Job control; Job demands; Job support; Job design; Supervisors; Job satisfaction; Stress; HRM; Unemployment; Scarring effects
    JEL: J28 J8 L23 M54
    Date: 2016–12–29
  4. By: Arief Yusuf; Martin Daniel Siyaranamual; Aisyah Amatul Ghina; Megananda Suryana
    Abstract: Despite the increasing number of studies on self-reported happiness, due to data availability, only a few studies from developing countries exist. Moreover, eventhough climate is among the most important input to human activities, only a handfull of studies explicitly associate it with self-reported wellbeing. This paper combines a survey of 17,000 individuals representing 85% of Indonesian population and GIS data on local climate to establish a causation between climate variables (temperature and rainfalls) on individual subjective well-being. We found that happiness is not associated with temperature, as expected because tropical country like Indonesia does not have much temperature variation. However, rainfall is found to significantly associated with self-reported happiness. We found that the relationship is not linear, where higher rainfall is associated with more happiness but it reduces it after some point. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: climate; subjective-well-being; happiness; Indonesia
    JEL: R19 Q29
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Verena Lauber; Johanna Storck
    Abstract: Despite political efforts, balancing work and family life is still challenging. This paper provides novel evidence on the effect of firm level interventions that seek to reduce the work-life conflict. The focus is on how a specific workplace policy, namely childcare support, affects the well-being, working time, and caring behavior of mothers with young children. We exploit the fact that since the mid 2000s an increasing number of employers have become proactive and implemented more family-friendly workplaces. These changes over time allow us to identify causal effects of childcare support using a difference-in-differences approach combined with matching. Based on a large panel dataset on families with children in Germany (FiD), we find evidence pointing to welfare enhancing effects of childcare support, as it strongly increases both childcare satisfaction and job satisfaction. In particular mothers who worked limited hours before the introduction, possibly due to constraints, increase their working time and use formal care more intensively. Satisfaction levels are also more strongly affected if mothers are career-orientated. In comparison, flexible work schedules, another family-friendly policy, only affect job satisfaction. Paternal well-being and behavior is not affected by the workplace policy.
    Keywords: family-friendly workplace policies, well-being, work-life balance, difference-in-differences, matching
    JEL: I31 J13 J22 J28
    Date: 2016

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