nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2017‒10‒29
six papers chosen by

  1. Income or Leisure? On the Hidden Benefits of (Un-)Employment By Adrian Chadi; Clemens Hetschko
  2. Subjective Well-Being and Partnership Dynamics: Are Same-Sex Relationships Different? By Chen, Shuai; van Ours, Jan C.
  3. Differential Approach and Capabilities: An Analysis for the Colombia's Population Displaced By Leon, Dorian
  4. Illuminating Economic Development in Indigenous Communities By Donna Feir; Rob Gillezeau; Maggie Jones
  5. Changes in Subjective Well-Being Over Time in Germnay By Ana I. Moro Egido; Maria Navarro; Ángeles Sánchez-Domínguez
  6. Childhood circumstances, personality traits and adult-life economic outcomes in developing countries: Evidence from STEP By Michal Brzezinski

  1. By: Adrian Chadi; Clemens Hetschko
    Abstract: We study the usually assumed trade-off between income and leisure in labor supply decisions using comprehensive German panel data. We compare non-employed individuals after plant closures with employed people regarding both income and time use as well as their subjective perceptions of these two factors. We find that the gain of non-working time translates into higher satisfaction with free time, while time spent on hobbies increases to a lesser extent than home production. Additionally, satisfaction with family life increases, which may be a hidden benefit of being unemployed. In contrast, satisfaction with income strongly declines when becoming jobless. Identity utility from earning a living may play the role of a hidden benefit of employment. Finally, we examine subjective assessments of income and leisure as potential predictors for job take-up. Non-employed people are particularly likely to take up a job soon when they are dissatisfied with their income.
    Keywords: labor supply, plant closure, leisure, work-family conflict, life satisfaction, income satisfaction, free time satisfaction, family satisfaction
    JEL: D01 D13 I31 J22 J64 J65
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Chen, Shuai (Tilburg University); van Ours, Jan C. (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    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
  3. By: Leon, Dorian
    Abstract: The conceptual framework of the capability approach proposed by Amartya Sen has never been used specifically in the dynamics of forced displacement or in the analysis of the quality of life of the population victims of the Colombian armed conflict. Reason why, this article affirms that the approach of capabilities agrees with the differential approach proposed by the Colombian Constitutional Court. Consequently, the objective is to provide a conceptual aproximation to the Amartya Sen’s capability approach and differential approach proposed by the from Colombia Constitutional Court and to point out that the capability approach is relevant in the design, implementation and evaluation of public policies directed at the victim population. Similarly, recent data on the dynamics of forced displacement in the city of Bucaramanga (Colombia) are provided.
    Keywords: capability approach, forced displacement, colombian armed conflict
    JEL: D63 I31 I32
    Date: 2017–08–18
  4. By: Donna Feir (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); Rob Gillezeau (Department of Economics, University of Victoria); Maggie Jones (Department of Economics, Queen's University)
    Abstract: There are over 1,000 First Nations and Inuit communities in Canada. However, the most comprehensive public data source on economic activity, the Community Well-Being (CWB) database, only includes consistent data for 357 of these communities every five years between 1991 and 2011. We propose an alternative measure of economic well-being that is available annually since 1992 for all First Nations, Inuit, and non-Indigenous communities in Canada: nighttime light density from satellites. Nighttime light data have been used by development economists to measure economic activity elsewhere and have been shown to be a flexible alternative to traditional measures of economic activity. We find that nighttime light density is a useful proxy for per capita income in the Canadian context and provide evidence of sample selection issues with the pre-existing indicators of well-being in First Nations and Inuit communities. We suggest that using nighttime light density overcomes the biased selection of communities into the CWB samples and thus may present a more complete picture of economic activity in Canada.
    Keywords: Light density, nighttime light density, Indigenous peoples, Economic development, Community Well-Being Index
    JEL: I15 J15 J24
    Date: 2017–10–23
  5. By: Ana I. Moro Egido (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Maria Navarro (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Ángeles Sánchez-Domínguez (Departament of Applied Economics, University of Granada, Spain.)
    Abstract: Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we study the evolution of subjective well-being from 1999 to 2014. More specifically, we analyze the main determinants of changes in subjective well-being once we determine the main factors of predicted changes of subjective well-being. Moreover, we test whether these determinants exert a differential effect when considering ups and downs in subjective well-being. Our main findings indicate that, social, cultural and psychological capital predict the largest changes in subjective well-being. We also observe that absolute income has effects on changes in subjective well-being, but is not relevant at level. Additionally, adaptation is always complete except when we focus on specific changes, that is, when we distinguish between ups and downs in subjective well-being, adaptation affects the positive changes. In general, our evidence shows that all factors except bridging social capital, worries and risk have a different effect on the level and changes in subjective well-being.
    Keywords: subjective well-being evolution, social comparisons, social capital, cultural capital, psychological capital.
    Date: 2017–10–24
  6. By: Michal Brzezinski
    Abstract: This paper studies the associations between childhood circumstances (e.g. parental background, early-life socio-economic status, negative economic shocks during childhood, etc.), personality traits (the Big Five, grit) and adult-life economic outcomes (educational attainment, employment opportunity, wages, life satisfaction, and obesity) in nine developing countries. The data come from the World Bank’s STEP Skills Measurement Survey conducted over 2012-2013. Our results show that childhood circumstances are associated more strongly than personality traits with education and wages. Agreeableness, and neuroticism are relatively strong correlates of life satisfaction in developing countries, as compared with early-life socio-economic status. Grit is not significantly related to adult-life outcomes, when other personality traits are controlled for. Obesity is positively associated with extraversion and neuroticism, while childhood circumstances do not predict it.
    Keywords: childhood circumstances, personality, grit, education, employment, life satisfaction, obesity, developing countries, STEP
    JEL: A12 I20 I31 J24 J31 O12
    Date: 2017–09

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