nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒04‒30
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Does Higher Education Increase Hedonic and Eudaimonic Happiness? By Nikolaev, Boris
  2. How much of a problem is problem gambling? By Ian Walker; Rhys Wheeler; Rob Pryce
  3. The Happiness Function in Italian Cities By Cristina Bernini; Alessandro Tampieri

  1. By: Nikolaev, Boris
    Abstract: An increasing number of studies suggest that the relationship between higher education and subjective well-being (SWB) is either insignificant or negative. Most of these studies, however, use life satisfaction as a proxy for SWB. In this study, using longitudinal data from the Household Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia survey, I examine the link between higher education and three different measures of subjective well-being: life satisfaction and its different sub-domains (evaluative), positive and negative affect (hedonic), and engagement and purpose (eudaimonic). Three substantial results emerge: (1) people with higher education are more likely to report higher levels of eudaimonic and hedonic SWB, i.e., they view their lives as more meaningful and experience more positive emotions and less negative ones; (2) people with higher education are satisfied with most life domains (financial, employment opportunities, neighborhood, local community, children at home) but they report lower satisfaction with the amount of free time they have; (3) the positive effect of higher education is increasing, but at a decreasing rate; the SWB gains from obtaining a graduate degree are much lower (on the margin) compared to getting a college degree.
    Keywords: Subjective Well-being, Returns to education, Panel estimation
    JEL: I0 I3 I31
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Ian Walker; Rhys Wheeler; Rob Pryce
    Abstract: Problem gambling is conventionally defined by the score in a specific questionnaire exceeding some critical value and data suggests is that 0.7% of adults in the UK could be afflicted. However, the literature has not evaluated the size of the harm associated with such an affliction and this research evaluates the effect of problem gambling on self-reported well-being which, together with a corresponding effect of income on well-being, allows us to construct a money-metric of the (self) harm associated with being a problem gambler. Our estimates suggest that problem gambling imposes a very large reduction in individual well-being.
    Keywords: gambling, lotto, problem gambling, well-being
    JEL: I3 I31 D8
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Cristina Bernini (University of Bologna); Alessandro Tampieri (University of Bologna and CREA, Université du Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We investigate how the city of residence influences subjective well-being. We build up a happiness function that considers city characteristics as determinants of well-being, and we combine individual and city level data through a multi-level analysis. We exploit the dataset HADL on Italian metropolitan area over the period 2010 to 2013. We find a strong variability across cities of the aspects of life that explain subjective well-being. Even accounting for a rich set of individual level variables, the location retains a role in shaping life satisfaction. Surprisingly, economic and familiar aspects explain happiness more at city level than at individual level.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being; happiness function; metropolitan area; multilevel models; city amenities.
    JEL: I31 R10
    Date: 2017

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