nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒07‒23
seven papers chosen by

  1. Trade, Inequality, and Subjective Well-Being: Getting at the Roots of the Backlash Against Globalization By Barbara Dluhosch
  2. Retirement and Unexpected Health Shocks By Bénédicte H. Apouey; Cahit Guven; Claudia Senik
  3. Everybody's a Victim? Global Terror, Well-Being and Political Attitudes By Akay, Alpaslan; Bargain, Olivier; Elsayed, Ahmed
  4. What do self - reports of wellbeing say about life - cycle theory and policy? By Angus Deaton
  5. How Does Terrorism Affect Individuals’ Wellbeing? By Alex Bryson; George MacKerron
  6. Are Schools Different? Wellbeing and Commitment Among Staff in Schools and Elsewhere By Alex Bryson; Lucy Stokes; David Wilkinson
  7. Working Paper 296 - Relative Deprivation and Well-Being of the Rural Youth By AfDB AfDB

  1. By: Barbara Dluhosch
    Abstract: Many countries in the Western hemisphere are currently experiencing a backlash against globalization. Most of the research examining the issue has concentrated on international specialization and within-country income inequality as main drivers of the backlash. Doing so, the discussion has primarily revolved around the question whether and to what extend the income distribution has widened and whether trade is responsible indeed. However, political trends may be more grounded in perceptions than facts, thus giving rise to inappropriate populist policies. The difference matters all the more as the former may be accentuated by (social) media. Drawing mainly on subjective well-being (SWB) data from theWorld Values Survey (WVS) and income statistics from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), this paper shows in an international cross-section analysis that income inequality is perceived very differently depending on openness to trade. The relevance of perceptions has wider politico-economic implications in that it carries the risk of costly anti-trade policies, without necessarily narrowing the income distribution.
    Keywords: -Subjective Well-Being, International Trade, Income Distribution, Inequality, Identity
    JEL: F13 D63 D31
    Date: 2018–06
  2. By: Bénédicte H. Apouey (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); Cahit Guven (Deakin University - Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research); Claudia Senik (PSE - Paris School of Economics, 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, UP4 - Université Paris-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Is retirement good for your health? This article explores the impact of retirement on unexpected health evolutions. Using data from the annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (2001-2014), we construct measures of the mismatch between each person's expected and actual health evolution (hereafter, "health shocks"). We find that after retirement, the probability of negative shocks decreases and the likelihood of positive health shocks increases, for both genders. These shocks translate into variations of life satisfaction in the same direction (i.e. unexpected positive health shocks increase life satisfaction). Other indicators of mental and physical health taken from the SF-36 vary in the same way, i.e. improve unexpectedly after retirement. By definition, health shocks are immune to the problem of reverse causality that could run from health to retirement. Hence, our findings are consistent with a positive impact of retirement on health.
    Keywords: Australia,HILDA,Health,Retirement,Health Shocks,Life Satisfaction
    Date: 2018–05
  3. By: Akay, Alpaslan (University of Gothenburg); Bargain, Olivier (University of Bordeaux); Elsayed, Ahmed (IZA)
    Abstract: Terror has become a global issue. Terror acts perpetuated by religious, nationalist or political groups around the globe can propagate distress rapidly through different channels and possibly change political attitudes. This paper suggests the first evaluation of the impact of global terror on human welfare. We combine panel datasets for Australia, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Individual well-being information for 750,000 individual x year observations, recorded on precise dates, is matched with daily information on the 70,000 terror events that took place worldwide during 1994–2013. High-frequency data and quasi-random terror shocks of varying intensity provide the conditions for robust inference, while external validity is guaranteed by the use of large representative samples. We find a significantly negative effect of global terror on well-being, with a money-metric cost of around 6%–17% of national income. Among diffusion channels, stock markets and economic anticipations play a minimal role, while traditional media filter the most salient events. The effect is greatly modulated by the physical, genetic or cultural proximity to the terror regions/victims. For a subset of countries, we also show that global terror has significantly increased the intention to vote for conservative parties. Heterogeneity analyses point to the mediating effect of risk perception: individuals who exhibit stronger emotional responses to terror – possibly more exposed to potential threats – are also more likely to experience a conservative shift.
    Keywords: global terror, subjective well-being, media, political attitudes
    JEL: C99 D60 D72 D74 I31
    Date: 2018–06
  4. By: Angus Deaton (Princeton University and University of Southern California)
    Abstract: I respond to Atkinson's plea to revive welfare economics, and to considering alternative ethical frameworks when making policy recommendations. I examine a measure of self-reported evaluative wellbeing, the Cantril Ladder, and use data from Gallup to examine well-being over the life-cycle. I assess the validity of the measure, and show that it is hard to reconcile with familiar theories of intertemporal choice. I find a worldwide optimism about the future; in spite of repeated evidence to the contrary, people consistently but irrationally predict they will be better off five years from now. The gap between future and current wellbeing diminishes with age, and in rich countries, is negative among the elderly. I also use the measure to think about income transfers by age and sex. Policies that give priority those with low incomes favor the young and the old, while utilitarian policies favor the middle aged, and men over women.
    JEL: A20 D60
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: Alex Bryson (University College London, National Institute of Social and Economic Research and Institute for the Study of Labor); George MacKerron (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper is the first to exploit high-frequency data to measure the impact of terrorist-related incidents (TRIs) on individuals' momentary happiness and anxiety. We show the impact of TRIs varies with the nature of the incident, the individual's physical proximity to it, and the time that has elapsed since the incident. TRIs have a substantial effect on individuals' momentary happiness and anxiety levels, but the effect is short-lived and is largely confined to incidents that lead to the death of victims and incidents within a twenty kilometre radius.
    Keywords: Worker voice; Anxiety; Wellbeing; Conflict; Bombings; Killings; Shootings; Terrorism; Northern Ireland
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2017–12–15
  6. By: Alex Bryson (University College London, National Institute of Social and Economic Research and Institute for the Study of Labor); Lucy Stokes (National Institute of Social and Economic Research); David Wilkinson (University College London, National Institute of Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using nationally representative linked employer-employee data for Britain in 2004 and 2011 we find school staff are more satisfied and more contented with their jobs than "like" employees in other workplaces. The differentials are largely accounted for by the occupations school employees undertake and perceptions of job quality. School employees are also more committed to their organization than non-school employees, a difference that remains large and statistically significant having conditioned on job quality, human resource management practices (HRM), managerial style and other features of employees' working environment. Using panel data for workplaces and their employees observed in 2004 and 2011 we find increases in organizational commitment are linked to improvements in workplace performance in schools, but not in other workplaces.
    Keywords: schools; teachers; job satisfaction; job contentment; organizational commitment; school performance; human resource management; managerial style
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–04–01
  7. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2018–06–26

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