nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒10‒08
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Subjective Well-being and Partnership Dynamics; Are Same-sex Relationships Different? By Chen, Shuai; van Ours, Jan C.
  2. War and Well-Being in Transition: Russo-Georgian Conflict as a Natural Experiment By Gunes Gokmen; Evgeny Yakovlev
  3. Happiness Convergence in Transition Countries By Guriev, Sergei; Melnikov, Nikita
  4. Securing Basic Well-being for All By Reiko Gotoh; Naoki Yoshihara
  5. Subjective Well-being and Partnership Dynamics; Are Same-Sex Relationships Different? By Shuai Chen; Jan (J.C.) van Ours

  1. By: Chen, Shuai; van Ours, Jan C.
    Abstract: Partnered individuals are happier than singles. This can be because partnership leads to more satisfactory subjective well-being or because happier people are more likely to find a partner. We analyze Dutch panel data to investigate whether there is a causal effect of partnership on subjective well-being. Our data allow us to distinguish between marriage and cohabitation and between same-sex partnerships and opposite-sex ones. Our results support the short-term crisis model and adaptation theory. We find that marital partnership improves well-being and that these benefits are homogeneous to sexual orientation. The well-being gains of marriage are larger than those of cohabitation. Investigating partnership formation and disruption, we discover that the well-being effects are symmetric. Finally, we find that marriage improves well-being for both younger and older cohorts while cohabitation only benefits younger cohort.
    Keywords: Cohabitation; Happiness; Marriage; Sexual orientation; Subjective well-being
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2017–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12320&r=hap
  2. By: Gunes Gokmen (New Economic School and the Center for the Study of Diversity and Social Interactions, Moscow); Evgeny Yakovlev (New Economic School, Moscow)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the effect of the Russo-Georgian conflict of 2008 on the well-being of minorities in Russia. Using the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS), we first provide evidence that, on impact, the well-being of Georgian nationals suffered negatively from the conflict of 2008, both in comparison to their own well-being across time and to the well-being of the Russian majority. We also show that this negative effect of conflict does not have a long-term legacy that goes beyond 2008. Additionally, we demonstrate that the conflict has no direct effect on the livelihoods or the labor market outcomes of Georgian nationals. Therefore, we attribute the negative effect of conflict on well-being to more indirect channels such as fear, altruism, or sympathy. We also analyze the spillover effects of the Russo-Georgian conflict on other minorities that live in Russia. We find that while the well-being of migrant minorities who have recently moved to Russia is negatively affected, there is no effect on local minorities who have been living in Russia for at least ten years.
    Keywords: Well-being, happiness, transition, conflict, minorities
    JEL: I31 N44 P2
    Date: 2017–09
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0243&r=hap
  3. By: Guriev, Sergei; Melnikov, Nikita
    Abstract: The "transition happiness gap" has been one of the most robust findings in the life satisfaction literature. Until very recently, scholars using various datasets on life satisfaction have shown that residents of post-communist countries were significantly less satisfied with their lives than their counterparts in non-transition countries (controlling for income and other correlates of life satisfaction). The literature has explained this finding by the great macroeconomic instability of 1990s, by a substantial decrease in the quality and accessibility of public goods, by the major increase in inequality, and by the rapid depreciation of pre-transition human capital. All these factors were expected to subside over time --- at least after the post-Great-Recession recovery. In this paper, we consider two most recent datasets -- the third wave of the Life in Transition Survey (administered in 2015-16) and the 2010-2016 waves of the annual Gallup World Poll. We find that by 2016 the transition happiness gap had closed. This "happiness convergence" has taken place both due to a "happiness recovery" in post-communist countries after the Great Recession and due to a decrease in life satisfaction in comparator countries in recent years. We also find that the convergence in life satisfaction was primarily driven by middle-income young educated individuals, regardless of gender.
    Date: 2017–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12346&r=hap
  4. By: Reiko Gotoh (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University); Naoki Yoshihara (Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the possibility of a social choice rule to implement a social policy for securing basic well-being for all. The paper introduces a new scheme of social choice, called a social relation function (SRF), which associates a reflexive and transitive binary relation over a set of social policies to each profile of individual well-being appraisals and each profile of group evaluations. As part of the domains of SRFs, the available class of group evaluations is constrained by three conditions. Furthermore, the non-negative response (NR) and the weak Pareto condition (WP) are introduced. NR demands giving priority to group evaluation, while treating the groups as formally equal relative to each other. WP requires treating impartially the well-being appraisals of all individuals. In conclusion, this paper shows that under some reasonable assumptions, there exists an SRF that satisfies NR and WP.
    Keywords: basic well-being; individual well-being appraisals; social rela- tion functions.
    JEL: D63
    Date: 2017
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ums:papers:2017-16&r=hap
  5. By: Shuai Chen (CentER, Tilburg University, the Netherlands); Jan (J.C.) van Ours (Erasmus School of Economics; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: Partnered individuals are happier than singles. This can be because partnership leads to more satisfactory subjective well-being or because happier people are more likely to find a partner. We analyze Dutch panel data to investigate whether there is a causal effect of partnership on subjective well-being. Our data allow us to distinguish between marriage and cohabitation and between same-sex partnerships and opposite-sex ones. Our results support the short-term crisis model and adaptation theory. We find that marital partnership improves well-being and that these benefits are homogeneous to sexual orientation. The well-being gains of marriage are larger than those of cohabitation. Investigating partnership formation and disruption, we discover that the well-being effects are symmetric. Finally, we find that marriage improves well-being for both younger and older cohorts while cohabitation only benefits younger cohort.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being; Happiness; Marriage; Cohabitation; Sexual orientation
    JEL: J12
    Date: 2017–09–22
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:tin:wpaper:20170088&r=hap

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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at http://nep.repec.org. For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <director@nep.repec.org>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.