nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒03‒19
three papers chosen by

  1. Inequalities in Life Expectancy and the Global Welfare Convergence By Hippolyte D'Albis; Florian Bonnet
  2. The Welfare Implications of Addictive Substances: A Longitudinal Study of Life Satisfaction of Drug Users By Julie Moschion; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  3. Spiritual Practices and Dispositional Optimism in an Underprivileged Population By Cid, Alejandro; Arrieta, Gonzalo; Ponce De León, María Mercedes; Stokes, Charles E.

  1. By: Hippolyte D'Albis (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); Florian Bonnet (UP1 UFR02 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UFR d'Économie - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Becker, Philipson and Soares (2005) maintain that including life expectancy gains in a welfare indicator result in a reduction of inequality between 1960 and 2000 twice as great as when measured by per capita income. We discuss their methodology and show it determines the convergence result. We use an alternative methodology, based on Fleurbaey and Gaulier (2009), which monetizes differences in life expectancy between countries at each date rather than life expectancy gains. We show that including life expectancy has no effect on the evolution of world inequality.
    Keywords: World inequality,Well-being indicators,Life expectancy
    Date: 2018–01
  2. By: Julie Moschion (Melbourne Institute: Applied Economic & Social Research, The University of Melbourne); Nattavudh Powdthavee (Warwick Business School; and Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)
    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: 2017–12
  3. By: Cid, Alejandro; Arrieta, Gonzalo; Ponce De León, María Mercedes; Stokes, Charles E.
    Abstract: Optimism seems to foster the ability to manage adverse situations better - a finding especially relevant for disadvantaged populations. Employing a unique sample from a small underprivileged village, we study the association between spiritual practices and dispositional optimism. The village belongs to a developing country that is, by far, the most secular country in Latin America: this makes particularly interesting exploring the role of spiritual practices in this context. We find that spiritual practices are positively associated with higher optimism, measured by the Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R): those who practice spirituality, score, on average, 14.4 percentage points higher on the LOT-R than those who do not. And this association seems to be especially robust in the case of the poor and less educated: those with spiritual practices score 20 percentage points higher on the LOT-R. Thus, the role that spiritual practices may play in dispositional optimism in disadvantaged populations deserves more attention
    Keywords: Dispositional optimism, spiritual practices, LOT-R, hope, religion, happiness
    JEL: Z12
    Date: 2017

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