nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒09‒10
five papers chosen by

  1. Valuation of Public Amenities and Differences in Quality of Life among Latin American Cities By Arrosa, María Laura; Gandelman, Néstor
  2. Reactivity in Economic Science By Bruno S. Frey
  3. Research on Well-Being: Determinants, Effects, and its Relevance for Management By Bruno S. Frey
  4. Creative Destruction and Subjective Well-Being By Philippe Aghion; Ufuk Akcigit; Angus Deaton; Alexandra Roulet
  5. Social Capital and Prosocial Behaviour as Sources of Well-Being By John F. Helliwell; Lara B. Aknin; Hugh Shiplett; Haifang Huang; Shun Wang

  1. By: Arrosa, María Laura; Gandelman, Néstor
    Abstract: We use a life satisfaction approach for the valuation of public goods and amenities in Latin American cities. We apply a homogenous database of seventeen cities gathered by the Development Bank of Latin America CAF. Using the estimated monetary value for several public goods and neighborhood amenities we construct a city level quality of life index. We find that access to electricity, access to running water and security are the three largest valued urban characteristics in terms of life satisfaction and housing satisfaction. The monetary equivalent valuations represent more than duplicating the household per capita income. Lacking access to them has a tremendous impact on quality of life. We also show that although richer households have more access, public good and amenities are a source for reductions in quality of life disparities.
    Keywords: Ciudades, Investigación socioeconómica, Servicios públicos,
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: There is a fundamental difference between the natural and the social sciences due to reactivity. This difference remains even in the age of Artificially Intelligent Learning Machines and Big Data. Many academic economists take it as a matter of course that economics should become a natural science. Such a characterization misses an essential aspect of a social science, namely reactivity, i.e. human beings systematically respond to economic data, and in particular to interventions by economic policy, in a foreseeable way. To illustrate this finding, I use three examples from quite different fields: Happiness policy, World Heritage policy, and Science policy.
    Keywords: Economics; Social; Natural Science; Reactivity; Data; Happiness; Economic Policy
    JEL: A10 B40 C70 C80 D80 Z10
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: Empirically orientated happiness research provides valuable and new insights to both business and political economics. Managers can benefit from the knowledge gained regarding the determinants and even more from the consequences of subjective well-being. They should, however, not engage in directly trying to raise the happiness of stakeholders. Rather, they should lay the ground for the respective persons being able to reach happiness in the way they choose themselves. Research on well-being provides crucial insights for economic and social policy as well as for business economics considering aspects such as recognition, autonomy, health, personal relationships and political institutions.
    Keywords: Happiness; well-being; life satisfaction; business; management
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Philippe Aghion (CIAR - Canadian Institute for Advanced Research - Université de Montréal, Department of Economics, Harvard University, NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research - National Bureau of Economic Research, CDF - Collège de France - CdF - Collège de France, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); Ufuk Akcigit (Princeton University [Pinceton], University of Chicago); Angus Deaton (Princeton University [Pinceton]); Alexandra Roulet (Department of Economics, Harvard University)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the relationship between turnover-driven growth and subjective well-being. Our model of innovation-led growth and unemployment predicts that: (i) the effect of creative destruction on expected individual welfare should be unambiguously positive if we control for unemployment, less so if we do not; (ii) job creation has a positive and job destruction has a negative impact on well-being; (iii) job destruction has a less negative impact in areas with more generous unemployment insurance policies; and (iv) job creation has a more positive effect on individuals that are more forward-looking. The empirical analysis using cross-sectional MSA (metropolitan statistical area) -level and individual-level data provide empirical support to these predictions.
    Keywords: Well being
    Date: 2016–10
  5. By: John F. Helliwell; Lara B. Aknin; Hugh Shiplett; Haifang Huang; Shun Wang
    Abstract: This paper surveys evidence documenting positive linkages among social capital, prosocial behaviour, and subjective well-being. Whether in the workplace, at home, in the community, or among nations, better and deeper social connections, and especially higher levels of trust are linked to higher subjective well-being, even beyond the effects flowing through higher incomes and better health. Prosocial behaviour is also shown to be a robust predictor of well-being in both correlational and experimental contexts. These two lines of research are connected, as prosocial acts are most likely to increase well-being when they are delivered in ways that improve social capital, and reflect intentional generosity free of either compulsion or personal gain. We infer that these deep links between prosocial acts and well-being have an evolutionary benefit in maintaining the quality of social capital and thereby delivering cooperative human responses in times of crisis.
    JEL: I31 O57 P16 Z13
    Date: 2017–08

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