nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒04‒30
eight papers chosen by

  1. Nivel de riqueza regional, bienestar y desarrollo. By Prada, Albino; Sanchez-Fernandez, Patricio
  2. Using quality indicators to assess urban regeneration in residential areas By Lida Aminian; Harry Timmermans
  3. The Effect of Relative Concern on Life Satisfaction: Relative Deprivation and Loss Aversion By Leites, Martin; Ramos, Xavier
  4. Using Massive Online Choice Experiments to Measure Changes in Well-being By Erik Brynjolfsson; Felix Eggers; Avinash Gannamaneni
  5. Emigration, Remittances and the Subjective Well-Being of Those Staying Behind By Ivlevs, Artjoms; Nikolova, Milena; Graham, Carol Lee
  6. The Transmission of Mental Health within Households: Does One Partner's Mental Health Influence the Other Partner's Life Satisfaction? By Mendolia, Silvia; McNamee, Paul; Yerokhin, Oleg
  7. Social and emotional skills for student success and well-being: Conceptual framework for the OECD study on social and emotional skills By Oleksandr S. Chernyshenko; Miloš Kankaraš; Fritz Drasgow
  8. Is Football a Matter of Life and Death – Or is it more Important than that? By Peter Dolton; George MacKerron

  1. By: Prada, Albino; Sanchez-Fernandez, Patricio
    Abstract: In this paper an analysis of the level of wealth of the Spanish regions is made, taking from the results of the Social Welfare Index carried out by the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (IVIE) and the BBVA Foundation. For this purpose, this indicator is compared with two other synthetic indicators of development and well-being. The results allow us to verify the differences in transformation of wealth into development between the different regions.
    Keywords: Synthetic indicators, wealth, welfare, development, Social Welfare Index, Spain
    JEL: E01 H53 I31
    Date: 2018–03
  2. By: Lida Aminian; Harry Timmermans
    Abstract: With the recent and emerging trends such as creative and smart city concepts, the main focus of urban regeneration programs has been shifted from economic growth to human development, and from fixed plans to flexible human-based programs. With no longer new expansions, but rather focusing on abandoned areas within the borders of the cities, which is now happening in the Netherlands, urban regeneration is becoming a tool to improve cities and citizens potentials. Using technology and smart city methods to promote efficiency and functionality of living spaces is both bottom-up and top-down process, which engages citizens, and all the non-profit organizations with the final aim that is, improving the citizens’ quality of life.In this regard, measuring and modeling citizen’s quality life is now the best tool to evaluate the suitability and long-term success of urban regeneration program and approaches. In this research project, the concept of Quality of life has been studied and redefined and quantitative methods were used to explore the extent of the relationship between different life domains, built environment and general perceived quality of life. The study specifically looking at the Strijp-S district regeneration program initiated by the municipality of Eindhoven, as a creative and smart city program. To evaluate the current success of the program, data collected from the households in both "Strijp-S" and the neighboring area "Schoot", for making a comparison. An online survey platform, based on categorized sets of attributes, developed to cover different life domains satisfaction, such as housing, neighborhood, transportation, work and all the main activities of the residents.Respondents identified their living characteristic, such as housing type, means of daily transport, etc. and then evaluate and rate their satisfaction regarding all these living aspects. Finally, they have been asked to rate the general satisfaction for each domain, and the general perceived quality of life. For the purpose of the research, different quantitative and statistical methods used to analysis the data, and to show the direct and indirect impacts of each indicator on quality of life. The final results of the research reveal the differences of the impacts of the built environment attributes on the residents’ life satisfaction in different areas. Findings also highlight the effectiveness of smart city’s strategies in promoting neighborhood satisfaction, and accordingly contribute to the success of urban regeneration program
    Keywords: Measurement; Quality of Life; Survey; Urban Regeneration
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  3. By: Leites, Martin (Universidad de la República, Uruguay); Ramos, Xavier (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Income comparisons are important for individual well-being. We examine the shape of the relationship between relative income and life satisfaction, and test empirically if the features of the value function of prospect theory carry on to experienced utility. We draw on a unique dataset for a middle-income country, that allows us to work with an endogenous reference income, which differs for individuals with the same observable characteristics, depending on the perception error about their relative position in the distribution. We find the value function for experienced utility to be concave for both positive and, at odds with prospect theory, also negative relative income. Loss aversion is only satisfied for incomes that are sufficiently distant from the reference income. Our heterogeneity analysis shows that the slope of the value function differs across individuals who care differently about income comparisons, people with different personality traits, or social beliefs.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, relative income, loss aversion, prospect theory
    JEL: D6 I31
    Date: 2018–03
  4. By: Erik Brynjolfsson; Felix Eggers; Avinash Gannamaneni
    Abstract: GDP and derived metrics (e.g., productivity) have been central to understanding economic progress and well-being. In principle, the change in consumer surplus (compensating expenditure) provides a superior, and more direct, measure of the change in well-being, especially for digital goods, but in practice, it has been difficult to measure. We explore the potential of massive online choice experiments to measure consumers’ willingness to accept compensation for losing access to various digital goods and thereby estimate the consumer surplus generated from these goods. We test the robustness of the approach and benchmark it against established methods, including incentive compatible choice experiments that require participants to give up Facebook for a certain period in exchange for compensation. The proposed choice experiments show convergent validity and are massively scalable. Our results indicate that digital goods have created large gains in well-being that are missed by conventional measures of GDP and productivity. By periodically querying a large, representative sample of goods and services, including those which are not priced in existing markets, changes in consumer surplus and other new measures of well-being derived from these online choice experiments have the potential for providing cost-effective supplements to existing national income and product accounts.
    JEL: E01 O0 O4
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Ivlevs, Artjoms (University of the West of England, Bristol); Nikolova, Milena (University of Groningen); Graham, Carol Lee (Brookings Institution)
    Abstract: Despite growing academic and policy interest in the subjective well-being consequences of emigration for those left behind, existing studies have focused on single origin countries or specific world regions. Our study is the first to offer a global perspective on the well-being consequences of emigration for those staying behind using several subjective well-being measures (evaluations of best possible life, positive affect, stress, and depression). Drawing upon Gallup World Poll data for 114 countries during 2009-2011, we find that both having family members abroad and receiving remittances are positively associated with evaluative well-being (evaluations of best possible life) and positive affect (measured by an index of variables related to experiencing positive feelings at a particular point in time). Our analysis provides novel results showing that remittances are particularly beneficial for evaluative well-being in less developed and more unequal contexts; in richer countries, only the out-migration of family members is positively associated with life evaluations, while remittances have no additional association. We also find that having household members abroad is linked with increased stress and depression, which are not offset by remittances. The out-migration of family members appears more traumatic in contexts where migration is less common, such as more developed countries, and specific world regions, such as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as among women. Relying on subjective well-being measures, which reflect both material and non-material aspects of life and are broad measures of well-being, allows us to provide additional insights and a more well-rounded picture of the possible consequences of emigration on migrant family members staying behind relative to standard outcomes employed in the literature, such as the left-behind's consumption, income or labor market responses.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, depression, stress, Cantril ladder of life, happiness, Gallup World Poll
    JEL: F22 F24 I3 J61
    Date: 2018–03
  6. By: Mendolia, Silvia (University of Wollongong); McNamee, Paul (University of Aberdeen); Yerokhin, Oleg (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between partner's mental health and individual life satisfaction, using a sample of married and cohabitating couples from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics of Australia Survey (HILDA). We use panel data models with fixed effects to estimate the life satisfaction impact of several different measures of partner's mental health and to calculate the Compensating Income Variation (CIV) of them. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to study the effect of partner's mental health on individual's wellbeing and to measure the impact of reduced life satisfaction in monetary terms. We also provide some new insights into adaptation and coping mechanisms. Accounting for measurement error and endogeneity of income, partners' mental health has a significant and sizeable association with individual well-being. The additional income needed to compensate someone living with a partner with a long term mental condition is substantial (over USD 60,000). Further, individuals do not show significant adaptation to partners' poor mental health conditions, and coping mechanisms show little influence on life satisfaction. The results have implications for policy-makers wishing to value the wider effects of policies that aim to impact on mental health and overall levels of well-being.
    Keywords: partner's health, compensating income variation, fixed effects
    JEL: I10 I12
    Date: 2018–03
  7. By: Oleksandr S. Chernyshenko (University of Western Australia); Miloš Kankaraš (OECD); Fritz Drasgow (Drasgow Consulting Group)
    Abstract: In an increasingly fast-changing, complex and diverse world, social and emotional skills are becoming ever more important. In this paper we present an overview of literature on social and emotional skills, describing the nature and structure of these skills, their development, malleability and factors that influence them, their cross-cultural comparability and their relevance for a wide range of educational, economic and life outcomes. The paper also represents a conceptual framework for the OECD’s new Study on Social and Emotional Skills, an international survey that assesses 10- and 15-year-old students in a number of cities and countries around the world.We focus on the underlying skills within and outside of the widely researched Big Five model that are found to be more predictive and policy relevant. We examine the relationships of these skills with a variety of indicators of individual and societal well-being such as education, employment and income, health, and personal well-being. The paper discusses the structure of child’s social and emotional skills and the developmental trajectories of these skills across a lifetime. It presents the evidence of malleability of these skills as well as their relevance across a wide range of cultural contexts.
    Date: 2018–04–27
  8. By: Peter Dolton; George MacKerron
    Abstract: Football is the national sport of most of the planet. This paper examines how happy the outcomes of football matches make us. We calibrate these results relative to other activities and estimate the dynamic effects these exogenous events have on our utility over time. We find that football – on average – makes us unhappier – so why would we go through the pain of following a football team. This behavioural choice paradox occupies much of the paper so we investigate why we go on following our teams, even though matches make us more unhappy on average. We examine how much our story changes if we examine the dynamic effects of football matches over time in different hours before and after the game and the extent to which our happiness is influenced by what we would rationally expect the result to be beforehand – as based on the betting odds.
    Keywords: happiness, football, behavioural economics, irrationality, dynamic effects of outcomes, framed subjective utility
    JEL: D23 D03
    Date: 2018–04

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