nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒01‒15
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Impacts of Working Time on Life Satisfaction: Empirical analysis using data from a large-scale survey in Japan (Japanese) By TSURUMI Tetsuya; MANAGI Shunsuke
  2. Wealthier, Happier and More Self-Sufficient: When Anti-Poverty Programs Improve Economic and Subjective Wellbeing at a Reduced Cost to Taxpayers By Titus Galama; Robson Morgan; Juan E. Saavedra
  3. The Welfare Implications of Addictive Substances: A Longitudinal Study of Life Satisfaction of Drug Users By Moschion, Julie; Powdthavee, Nattavudh
  4. Marriage and happiness: A survey By Yoshiro Tsutsui

  1. By: TSURUMI Tetsuya; MANAGI Shunsuke
    Abstract: The This study investigates the impacts of working time on life satisfaction using data from original large-scale survey questionnaires in Japan. The previous studies dealing with the relationship between working time and life satisfaction are limited to a study in Germany by Rätzel (2012), thus it is considered that an accumulation of studies in this field is necessary. Our study takes consideration of non-linearity in the relationship between working time and life satisfaction that was not considered in the previous study, using a semi-parametric method. In addition, taking advantage of the large-scale survey data, we investigate relationships by samples to find whether or not they are dependent upon respective individual characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, and whether or not both the husband and wife are working. Moreover, income, form of employment (regular employees, non-regular employees, self-employed, part-time, etc.), and business and industry categories are considered. Our results suggest that the relationship depends upon the individual attributes, the form of employment, and that it varies with each category in business, as well as each industry. ersity.
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Titus Galama (University of Southern California); Robson Morgan (University of Southern California); Juan E. Saavedra (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: We document how an anti-poverty program improves economic and subjective wellbeing, and self-sufficiency. Familias en Accion Urbano, a conditional cash transfer program implemented at scale in the country of Colombia, uses a means-test cutoff score selection rule that provides exogenous variation in program participation. We reproduce the score assignment rule in a nationally representative living standards household survey that measures multiple dimensions of economic and evaluative wellbeing. Three years into the program, beneficiary households at the margin report greater income, consumption and formal employment participation for both the household head and partner. Household income increased by ten times the amount of the government transfer, likely because of gains in formal employment. Beneficiary households at the margin also report greater overall satisfaction with life, greater happiness and greater satisfaction with food. These results support the hypothesis that among households with basic unmet needs, policies that have a permanent impact on income and consumption may also have a lasting impact on subjective wellbeing and self-sufficiency. Moreover, relatively small subsidies, further offset by additional government tax receipt, may generate substantial benefits to poor families at a reduced cost to taxpayers.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, self-sufficiency, evaluation of social programs, score assignment rule
    JEL: H53 I30 I32 I38 O38 O54
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: Moschion, Julie (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical test of the rational addiction model, used in economics to model individuals' consumption of addictive substances, versus the utility misprediction model, used in psychology to explain the discrepancy between people's decision and their subsequent experiences. By exploiting a unique data set of disadvantaged Australians, we provide longitudinal evidence that a drop in life satisfaction tends to precede the use of illegal/street drugs. We also find that the abuse of alcohol, the daily use of cannabis and the weekly use of illegal/street drugs in the past 6 months relate to lower current levels of life satisfaction. This provides empirical support for the utility misprediction model. Further, we find that the decrease in life satisfaction following the consumption of illegal/street drugs persists 6 months to a year after use. In contrast, the consumption of cigarettes is unrelated to life satisfaction in the close past or the near future. Our results, though only illustrative, suggest that measures of individual's subjective wellbeing should be examined together with data on revealed preferences when testing models of rational decision-making.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, rational addiction, drugs, homeless, Australia, happiness
    JEL: D03 I12 I18 I30
    Date: 2017–11
  4. By: Yoshiro Tsutsui (Faculty of Economics, Konan University)
    Abstract: This paper explores studies concerning the effect of marriage on happiness and reports the followings. Those who marry are happier than those who don ft. There exists bilateral causality between marriage and happiness. Happiness rises with marriage, but thereafter begins to decline shortly. Whether the adaptation is perfect or not is still undetermined. Why people get married? What kind of couple get married and become happy? Becker (1973) proposed the model of household production, and demonstrated that while the division of labor in a household is efficient, husband and wife who have similar traits are often efficient. The latter statement is known as assortative mating hypothesis in psychology and sociology and many studies have reported that couples who have similar values and/or personality get married and become happy
    Keywords: subjective happiness; marriage; adaptation; assortative mating hypothesis
    JEL: I31 J12
    Date: 2018–01

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