nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒01‒22
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Happy at University? Student Well-being and the Value of Higher Education By Marina Della Giusta; Antonia Fernandez; Sarah Jewell
  2. Poverty Is a Public Bad: Panel Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data By Heinz Welsch; Philipp Biermann
  3. If Life Throws You Lemons Try To Make Lemonade: Does Locus of Control Help People Cope with Unexpected Shocks By Steven Stillman; Malathi Velamuri

  1. By: Marina Della Giusta (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Antonia Fernandez (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Sarah Jewell (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: We report the results of a project monitoring Student Wellbeing in tertiary education. We investigate wellbeing broadly and wellbeing at university and focus on the role of both academic factors (teaching and learning experience and student expectations and performance) and non-academic ones (student health and finances, term-time employment and social life) and discuss our findings in the context of both student support and measuring the value of higher education.
    JEL: I26 I31 J28
    Date: 2017–01–15
  2. By: Heinz Welsch; Philipp Biermann
    Abstract: Previous research has found that subjective well-being (SWB) is lower for individuals classified as being in poverty. Using panel data for 39,239 individuals living in Germany from 2005-2013, we show that people’s SWB is negatively correlated with the state-level poverty ratio while controlling for individual poverty status and poverty intensity. The negative relationship between aggregate poverty and SWB is more salient in the upper segments of the income distribution and is robust to controlling for the rate of unemployment and per capita GDP. The character of poverty as a public bad suggests that poverty alleviation is a matter not only of equity, but of efficiency.
    Keywords: poverty; poverty ratio; subjective well-being; public bad; life satisfaction
    JEL: I31 I32 D60
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Steven Stillman (Free University of Bolzano‐Bozen, Faculty of Economics and Management); Malathi Velamuri (Chennai Mathematical Institute)
    Abstract: A number of recent papers have found that non-cognitive skills and in particular, locus of control (LoC), are important predictors of success in life in terms of both traditional labor market and socioeconomic outcomes, and measures of subjective wellbeing. Specifically, the literature has found a strong correlation between having an internal locus of control and standard measures of success and happiness. In this paper, we examine whether having an internal LoC also helps people manage the consequences of two mainly unanticipated negative shocks, being a crime victim and experiencing a serious illness or injury. We find that these events have large negative consequences on both subjective wellbeing and objective economic outcomes. For men, these shocks have smaller effects on subjective wellbeing when they are more internal but that the long-run effects on income are no smaller. On the other hand, for women with an internal LoC, we find some evidence that these shocks have larger impacts. We draw on the psychology literature to discuss the results.
    Keywords: locus of control, crime, illness, wellbeing, HILDA
    JEL: I31 J16
    Date: 2017–01

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