nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒07‒02
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. She’s leaving home: a large sample investigation of the empty nest syndrome By Alan Piper; Ian Jackson
  2. Increasing the Well-Being of Others On-the-Job and Outside the Workplace By Max van Lent
  3. Terminal Decline in Well-Being: The Role of Multi-Indicator Constellations of Physical Health and Psychosocial Correlates By Andreas M. Brandmaier; Nilam Ram; Gert G. Wagner; Denis Gerstorf

  1. By: Alan Piper (Europa-Universität Flensburg, International Institute of Management); Ian Jackson (School of Business, Leadership and Economics, Staffordshire University)
    Abstract: This study considers life satisfaction in relation to the empty nest syndrome, which is a situation where there are feelings of loss or loneliness for mothers and/or fathers following the departure of the last child from the parental home. In particular, the investigation considers the significance of Identity Economics when applied to parents experiencing a reduction in well-being following an extended period of child-rearing. The origins of the empty nest syndrome are first considered briefly before conducting an economic analysis of life satisfaction using the German Socio-Economic Panel. Our particular focus is the change in the subjective well-being of the individuals who become empty nesters, taking advantage of the richness of this dataset. As a result, this is the first large sample economic analysis of its kind to use identity to evaluate the effects of becoming "empty nest" parents in a systematic way.
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Max van Lent (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between workers' opportunities to help others on-the-job and volunteering behavior outside the workplace. We predict that there is substitutability between workers' contribution to other peoples' well-being by exerting effort on-the-job and outside the workplace. We test this prediction using rich data from the Dutch LISS Panel. We exploit variation in workers' opportunities to help others on-the-job from two sources: i) workers' job switching behavior and ii) changes in workers' opportunities to help others on their current job through plausibly exogenous changes in workers' match of mission preferences with their employer. We find some support for our prediction.
    Keywords: altruism; charitable donations; volunteering; public sector employment; job switchers; mission motivation
    JEL: D64 H11 J45 M50
    Date: 2017–06–23
  3. By: Andreas M. Brandmaier; Nilam Ram; Gert G. Wagner; Denis Gerstorf
    Abstract: Well-being is often relatively stable across adulthood and old age, but typically exhibits pronounced deteriorations and vast individual differences in the terminal phase of life. However, the factors contributing to these differences are not well understood. Using up to 25-year annual longitudinal data obtained from 4,404 now-deceased participants of the nationwide German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP; age at death: M = 73.2 years; SD = 14.3 years; 52% women), we explored the role of multi-indicator constellations of socio-demographic variables, physical health and burden factors, and psychosocial characteristics. Expanding earlier reports, Structural Equation Model Trees (SEM Trees) allowed us to identify profiles of variables that were associated with differences in the shape of late-life well-being trajectories. Physical health factors were found to play a major role for well-being decline, but in interaction with psychosocial characteristics such as social participation. To illustrate, for people with low social participation, disability emerged as the strongest correlate of differences in late-life well-being trajectories. However, for people with high social participation, whether or not an individual had spent considerable time in the hospital differentiated high vs. low and stable vs. declining late-life well-being. We corroborated these results with Variable Importance measures derived from a set of resampled SEM Trees (so-called SEM forests) that provide robust and comparative indicators of the total interactive effects of variables for differential late-life well-being. We discuss benefits and limitations of our approach and consider our findings in the context of other reports about protective factors against terminal decline in well-being.
    Keywords: Successful aging; life satisfaction; SEM forest; SEM tree; German Socio-Economic Panel Study
    Date: 2017

This nep-hap issue is ©2017 by Viviana Di Giovinazzo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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