nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
three papers chosen by

  1. The Effect of Income on Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from the 2008 Economic Stimulus Tax Rebates By Marta Lachowska
  2. Institutions & Well-being By Bennett, Daniel; Nikolaev, Boris; Aidt, Toke
  3. Relative Verbal Intelligence and Happiness By Nikolaev, Boris; McGee, Jennifer

  1. By: Marta Lachowska (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, affect, income effect, quasi-experimental, instrumental variable
    JEL: I31 H31 E62
  2. By: Bennett, Daniel; Nikolaev, Boris; Aidt, Toke
    Abstract: It is by now well-established in the development economics literature that institutions play a vital role in shaping social, economic, and political incentives, reducing transaction costs and uncertainty, and promoting long-run economic growth. Following recent developments on the measurement of socio-economic progress, which emphasize the importance of many non-economic dimensions of quality of life, the goal of this special issue is to encourage new socio-economic research on the relationship between institutions and well-being in this broader sense. Here, we provide a brief overview of the existing literature on institutions and well-being and then summarize the papers in this special issue according to three unifying themes (1) economic freedom studies; (2) institutions and long-run growth, and (3) well-being and institutions in transition economies. We conclude by discussing some challenges for future research.
    Keywords: institutions, well-being, development
    JEL: O10 O17 P5
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Nikolaev, Boris; McGee, Jennifer
    Abstract: Even though higher intelligence (IQ) is often associated with many positive outcomes in life, it has become a stylized fact in the happiness literature that smarter people are not happier than their less intelligent counterparts. In this paper, we examine how relative verbal intelligence correlates with happiness and present two main findings. First, our estimations from the General Social Survey for a large representative sample of Americans suggest a small, but positive and significant correlation between verbal intelligence and happiness. Second, we find that verbal intelligence has a strong positional effect on happiness, i.e., people who have greater verbal proficiency relative to their peers in their reference group are more likely to report higher levels of happiness. The positional effect of happiness holds even when we control for a large set of socio-economic characteristics as well as relative income.
    Keywords: Verbal Intelligence, Social Comparison, Happiness
    JEL: I26 I3 I31
    Date: 2016

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