nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒02‒26
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Great Recession and Life Satisfaction: The Unique Decline for Americans Approaching Retirement Age By Ifcher, John; Zarghamee, Homa; Cabacungan, Amanda
  2. Human Assets Index retrospective series: 2016 update By Michaël GOUJON; Sosso FEINDOUNO
  3. Government size, intelligence and life satisfaction By Salahodjaev, Raufhon

  1. By: Ifcher, John (Santa Clara University); Zarghamee, Homa (Barnard College); Cabacungan, Amanda (Santa Clara University)
    Abstract: Using data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we examine the impact of the Great Recession on subjective well-being (as measured by life satisfaction) and attempt to identify disparate effects by age. We find that those approaching retirement age (aged 55 to 64) experienced reduced life-satisfaction after the recession, whereas younger working-aged adults did not. The disparate effects by age cannot be explained by income or unemployment trends, but may be explained by wealth effects. For example, we find that the life satisfaction of those approaching retirement age, but not of younger working-age adults, is closely correlated with wealth indices (e.g., the Case-Shiller Housing Price Index and the S&P 500 Index).
    Keywords: subjective well-being, life satisfaction, Great Recession, wealth effect, retirement, and happiness
    JEL: G01 D14 D91 D6 I31
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Michaël GOUJON (Université d'Auvergne); Sosso FEINDOUNO (Ferdi)
    Abstract: Human capital, a broad concept including education and health, is considered as an essential driver of development patterns and human well-being. Undernourishment, poor health and low education attainment remain considerable obstacles to economic and social progress in Developing Countries (DCs) and particularly in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The Millenium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2000, where five of the eight Goals relate to education or health, portray the outstanding importance of human development. This importance has been renewed with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 that maintain the goals of “zero hunger”, “good health and well-being” and “quality education”..../.....
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Salahodjaev, Raufhon
    Abstract: Recent studies show that psychological factors such as cognitive ability play an important role in the empirical modeling of life satisfaction and suggest that intelligence is an important proxy for political and intellectual capital. These articles, however, only explore the direct effect of intelligence on subjective wellbeing. In this study, we conjecture that intellectual capital is a mechanism through which the size of bureaucracy impacts life satisfaction. Using data from 147 countries, we find that the interaction term between nation-IQ and government size is positive and significant, suggesting that government size increases life satisfaction most in high-IQ countries and least in countries with lower levels of cognitive abilities.
    Keywords: intelligence, government size, life satisfaction
    JEL: F0
    Date: 2017

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