nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒07‒23
two papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Well-being, the socio-economic context and price differences: the North-South gap By Giovanni D'Alessio
  2. Does Compulsory Education Really Increase Life Satisfaction? By Andrew E. Clark; SeEun Jung

  1. By: Giovanni D'Alessio (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper compares a subjective well-being indicator provided by households in the Centre and North and in the South in the Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW), and tries to identify the factors that can explain the gap. In particular, the role of the price level in the two areas of the country is examined: all other things being equal, the same nominal income should provide a higher level of well-being to southern families, due to the lower price level which characterizes that area. However, in models that do not take context variables into account , the well-being levels of southerners are lower than those of residents in the Centre and North with the same income. This result, apparently incompatible with a lower price level in the South, is due to other factors (not included in the model) that act in the opposite direction. The results obtained with more extensive models indicate that the gap in perceived levels of well-being between the two areas is influenced by health status and by factors describing the socio-economic context, namely levels of unemployment, crime, quality of health and childcare services and the conditions of access to urban and logistic services. In some experiments, alongside the elements mentioned above, there are also signals that are compatible with a lower price level for southern areas.
    Keywords: income distribution, welfare, prices
    JEL: D31 E31
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Andrew E. Clark (Paris School of Economics); SeEun Jung (Department of Economics, Inha University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the 1972 British education reform on life satisfaction using 1996-2008 British Household Panel Survey data. The education reform increased compulsory education by one year for those who were born after the 1st of September 1957, yielding an exogenous change in education for the treated group. Contrary to other work, we find no evidence that a one-year rise in compulsory education increased life satisfaction, even though it is often estimated to increase income. Many of our estimates suggest a negative relationship: the positive life-satisfaction effect found in research using earlier data does not then seem to have endured.
    Keywords: Life Satisfaction, Education Reform, Compulsory Schooling, RDD, BHPS
    JEL: C21 C82 I28 I31
    Date: 2017–07

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