nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒07‒16
seven papers chosen by

  1. The disutility of commuting? The effect of gender and local labour markets By Luke Munford; Nigel Rice; Jennifer Roberts; Nikita Jacob
  2. Well-being Inequality in the Long Run By Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
  3. Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons? By Sabatini, Fabio; Sarracino, Francesco
  4. Persistence of suicides in G20 countries: SPSM approach to three generations of unit root tests By Gosego Mothuti; Nicolene Haaman; Andrew Phiri
  5. How is participation in sports related to students’ performance and well-being? By Judit Pál
  6. Subjective Well-Being among Communities Left Behind by International Migrants By Lara, Jaime
  7. Paradoxes of Happiness: Why People Feel More Comfortable With High Inequalities And High Murder Rates? By Popov, Vladimir

  1. By: Luke Munford (Manchester Centre for Health Economics, University of Manchester); Nigel Rice (Centre for Health Economics & Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York); Jennifer Roberts (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Nikita Jacob (Centre for Health Economics, University of York)
    Abstract: Commuting is an extremely important modern phenomenon characterised by the spatial interaction of housing and labour markets. The average commuter in the UK spends nearly an hour a day travelling to and from employment. Standard economic theory postulates that commuting is a choice behaviour undertaken when compensated through either lower rents or greater amenities in the housing market or through greater wages in the labour market. By exploiting exogenous shocks to commuting time, this paper investigates the impact on wellbeing of increased commuting. Ceteris paribus, exogenous increases in commuting time are expected to lower wellbeing. We find this holds for women but not men. This phenomenon can be explained, in part, by the different labour markets in which women operate. Where local labour markets are thin, women report significantly lower wellbeing when faced with an increased commute. This does not hold for tight local labour markets. Further our findings reveal that it is full-time working women in the managerial and professional tier of the occupational hierarchy who are most affected.
    Keywords: commuting; exogenous shocks; well-being; panel data econometrics
    JEL: C1 I1
    Date: 2018–10
  2. By: Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
    Abstract: This paper provides a long-run view of well-being inequality at world scale based on a new historical dataset. Trends in social dimensions alter the view on inequality derived from per capita GDP. While in terms of income, inequality increased until the third quarter of the twentieth century; in terms of well-being, inequality fell steadily since World War I. The spread of mass primary education and the health transitions were its main drivers. The gap between the West and the Rest explains only partially the evolution of well-being inequality, as the dispersion within the developing regions has increasingly determined its evolution.
    Keywords: Well-being ; Inequality ; Life Expectancy ; Health Transition ; Education ; per capita GDP
    JEL: O50 O15 N30 I00
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Sabatini, Fabio; Sarracino, Francesco
    Abstract: Online social networks, such as Facebook, amplify the occasions for social comparisons which are detrimental to well-being. The authors test the hypothesis that the use of social networking sites (SNS) increases social comparisons using Italian data from the Multipurpose Household Survey, and European data from Eurobarometer. The results suggest that SNS users have a higher probability to compare their achievements with those of others. This evidence is robust to endogeneity concerns. The authors conclude that, by increasing the opportunities for social comparisons, SNS can be an engine of income dissatisfaction for their users.
    Keywords: social networks,social networking sites,social comparisons,satisfaction with income,relative deprivation
    JEL: D83 I31 O33 Z1 Z13
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Gosego Mothuti (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University); Nicolene Haaman (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University); Andrew Phiri (Department of Economics, Nelson Mandela University)
    Abstract: Suicides represent an encompassing measure of psychological well-being, emotional stability as well as life satisfaction and have been recently identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a major global health concern. The G20 countries represent the powerhouse of global economic governance and hence possess the ability to influence the direction of global suicide rates. In applying the sequential panel selection method (SPSM) to three generations of unit root testing procedures, the study investigates whether G20 countries should be concerned with possible persistence within suicide rates. The results obtained from all three generation of tests provide rigid evidence of persistence within the suicides for most member states of the G20 countries hence supporting the current strategic agenda pushed by the WHO in reducing suicides to a target rate of 10 percent. In addition, we further propose that such strategies should emulate from within G20 countries and spread globally thereafter.
    Keywords: Suicides, sequential panel selection method (SPSM), nonlinear unit root tests, Fourier form unit root tests, G20 countries
    JEL: C22 C32 C51 C52 I12
    Date: 2018–07
  5. By: Judit Pál
    Abstract: Sports play a vital role in students’ life. Playing sports on a regular basis can reduce the risks of obesity, anxiety disorders, low self-esteem and bullying among adolescents, and it can help them live a more active and healthy life as adults. But physical education classes and extracurricular sports activities compete for time with many other important pursuits, including homework and study. Educators and parents may ask whether their children spend enough time (or perhaps too much time) in physical activities, and to what degree participation in sports is associated with students’ academic performance and well-being.
    Date: 2018–07–10
  6. By: Lara, Jaime
    Abstract: This article assesses the impact of international migration on the subjective well-being of communities of origin in Mexico. Using a representative national survey and an empirical strategy with instrumental variables, we find that higher migratory intensity, at the municipal level, increases life satisfaction among men and women. There is a negative effect on emotional states of women, but an improvement in emotional states of men. Without controlling for schooling, a variable affected by international migration, men have a lower satisfaction with their perspective of future. Overall, the evidence in Mexico shows that the effects of international migration in the communities of origin are complex and with differential effects based on gender.
    Keywords: life satisfaction; emotions; Mexican migration
    JEL: I31 O15
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Popov, Vladimir
    Abstract: There is evidence that income and wealth inequalities are positively associated with happiness, as measured by the happiness index, and negatively associated with the suicide rate (that is considered an objective indicator of unhappiness). Moreover, there is some evidence that happiness is also positively linked the murder rate, especially when it goes hand in hand with inequalities. The possible explanation – competitive nature of human beings (a modification of a “big fish in the small pond” story) and perceptions of social justice: not only people enjoy the better than average position more than an even higher, but below the average position, but they also cherish the dream of becoming better than average. Greater equality that undermines the dream of becoming higher than average turns out to be disappointing for many. If murders occur without high income inequalities (i.e. murders are “unjustified”) and/or inequalities exist without high murders (inequalities are not perceived as unfair and do not cause social tension), then happiness is not affected.
    Keywords: Happiness, inequalities, murders, suicides
    JEL: I31 J1
    Date: 2018–06–01

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