nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒04‒23
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Adult life satisfaction: largely (though not wholly) contemporaneous? A System General Method of Moments dynamic panel analysis By Piper, Alan T.
  2. How Persistent Is Life Satisfaction? Evidence from European Immigration By Berggren, Niclas; Bergh, Andreas; Bjørnskov, Christian; Tanaka, Shiori
  3. Communism as the Unhappy Coming By Djankov, Simeon; Nikolova, Elena
  4. Job characteristics and life satisfaction in Europe: A domains-of-life approach By Clara Viñas-Bardolet; Monica Guillen-Royo; Joan Torrent-Sellens
  5. The Effect of Abortion Legalization on Fertility, Marriage and Long-Term Outcomes for Women By Libertad González; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Natalia Nollenberger; Judit Vall-Castello

  1. By: Piper, Alan T.
    Abstract: This study discusses and employs System Generalised Methods of Moments (GMM) dynamic panel analysis to investigate adult life satisfaction. This method enables an investigation of the dynamics of life satisfaction, and is undertaken with and without lags of the independent variables. The results indicate that, for this particular dynamic panel model, life satisfaction is largely (though not wholly) contemporaneous. Some caveats are offered with this general result, and nuance provided with the inclusion of lagged independent variables. A key exception is with regard to health, with past and current health contributing significantly to current life satisfaction. Given the complexity of the econometric method and its limited previous use in the well-being area, advice is given and potential pitfalls highlighted. Furthermore, while static models (like fixed effects) omit dynamics and are often misspecified, the results from the dynamic panel analysis are supportive of the more common fixed effects analysis.
    Keywords: Life Satisfaction, Dynamic Panel Analysis, GMM, Happiness, Subjective Well-Being
    JEL: C23 I31
    Date: 2018–03
  2. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bergh, Andreas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bjørnskov, Christian (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Tanaka, Shiori (Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering)
    Abstract: This paper asks to what extent life satisfaction among immigrants remains similar to that in their country of origin and to what extent it adapts to that in their country of residence. We employ data from 29,000 immigrants in the European Social Survey to estimate the relative importance of these influences. We find evidence that the persistence of life satisfaction from the country of origin is strong for migrants from developed countries and close to zero for migrants from formerly communist countries. We also find that persistence for second-generation immigrants is similar but weaker than for their parents.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Heritability; Culture; Immigration
    JEL: I31 Z10
    Date: 2018–04–04
  3. By: Djankov, Simeon; Nikolova, Elena
    Abstract: We show that Eastern Orthodox believers are less happy compared to those of Catholic and Protestant faith using data covering more than 100 countries around the world. Consistent with the happiness results, we also find that relative to Catholics, Protestants and non-believers, those of Eastern Orthodox religion have less social capital and prefer old ideas and safe jobs. In addition, Orthodoxy is associated with left-leaning political preferences and stronger support for government involvement in the economy. Compared to non-believers and Orthodox adherents, Catholics and Protestants are less likely to agree that government ownership is a good thing, and Protestants are less likely to agree that getting rich can only happen at the expense of others. These differences in life satisfaction and other attitudes and values persisted despite the fact that communist elites sought to eradicate church-going in Eastern Europe, since communists maintained many aspects of Orthodox theology which were useful for the advancement of the communist doctrine. The findings are consistent with Berdyaev's (1933, 1937) hypothesis of communism as a successor of Orthodoxy.
    Keywords: attitudes,communism,Eastern Orthodoxy,religion
    JEL: D02 P35 Z12
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Clara Viñas-Bardolet (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, UiO. Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC.); Monica Guillen-Royo (Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo, UiO.); Joan Torrent-Sellens (Faculty of Economics and Business, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC.)
    Abstract: Recognition of the role of working life has come to permeate every domain of life. Characteristics once thought to affect only the job domain are becoming important determinants of how people assess their lives on a daily basis. In this article we explore the influence of job characteristics on satisfaction with several life domains in 28 EU countries, asking: 1) What is the relationship between job characteristics and satisfaction with the job and other domains of life? 2) Is the job domain more important for life satisfaction than other domains of life? Additionally, we consider whether there are differences in these relationships between high- and low-skilled workers. We examine these questions through a domains-of-life perspective, using data on white-collar workers from the third European Quality of Life Survey (3EQLS) and using multiple Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions to estimate the models. The results indicate that work–life balance and perceived job (in)security are important determinants of satisfaction regarding all domains; moreover, there are differences between highand low-skilled workers concerning the influence of these factors. Job satisfaction ranks fourth in terms of its contribution to life satisfaction in the whole sample and is a greater determinant of life satisfaction for high-skilled workers than for low-skilled ones. We conclude with a discussion of the implications for workers’ wellbeing of the increasing insecurity in the job market and the fact that meaning is often sought through work despite the effects of poor work–life balance on most life-domains.
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Libertad González; Sergi Jiménez-Martín; Natalia Nollenberger; Judit Vall-Castello
    Abstract: We evaluate the short- and long-term effects for women of access to subsidized, legal abortion by exploiting the Spanish legalization of abortion in 1985. Using birth records and survey data, we find robust evidence that the legalization led to an immediate decrease in the number of births to women aged 21 and younger. This effect was driven by provinces with a higher supply of abortion services. In those regions, young women affected by the reform were also less likely to marry. Using data from the Labor Force Survey and exploiting the rollout of abortion clinics across provinces and over time, we find evidence that the affected cohorts of women, who were able to postpone fertility as a result of the legalization of abortion, achieved higher educational attainment and had higher life satisfaction 20 years after the reform. We do not find evidence of increases in the probability of being employed.
    Keywords: abortion, fertility, education and labor market outcomes, satisfaction
    JEL: J12 J13 I21 C21
    Date: 2018–04

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