nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒09‒03
four papers chosen by

  1. What’s WESWI? By Batston, Chris; Moores, Jonathan; Newton, Mark; Yalden, Sharleen
  2. Health Disparities for Immigrants: Theory and Evidence from Canada By Lebihan, Laetitia; Mao Takongmo, Charles Olivier; McKellips, Fanny
  3. When It Could Have Been Worse, It Gets Better: How Favorable Uncertainty Resolution Slows Hedonic Adaptation By Yang, Yang; Gu, Yangjie; Galak, Jeff
  4. Unintended Consequences of China's New Labor Contract Law on Unemployment and Welfare Loss of the Workers By Randall Akee; Liqiu Zhao; Zhong Zhao

  1. By: Batston, Chris; Moores, Jonathan; Newton, Mark; Yalden, Sharleen
    Abstract: The acronym WESWI represents Waterbody Ecosystem Services Wellbeing Index. WESWI is designed to assist urban collaborative process decision makers weigh the trade-offs between the wellbeing associated with employment, housing and industry contribution to regional value added income, and that associated with the ecosystem services delivered by freshwater and coastal waterbodies impacted by urban development. We examine the use of WESWI in an urban development case study located on the urban fringe of Auckland City. We show how WESWI can used to understand the effects of contrasting urban stormwater management scenarios on the wellbeing associated with ecosystem service provision by an urban stream.
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Environmental Economics and Policy, Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2016–08–25
  2. By: Lebihan, Laetitia; Mao Takongmo, Charles Olivier; McKellips, Fanny
    Abstract: Few empirical studies have been conducted to analyse the disparities in health variables affecting immigrants in a given country. To our knowledge, no theoretical analysis has been conducted to explain health disparities for immigrants between regions in the same country that differs in term of languages spoken and income. In this paper, we use the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) to compare multiple health measures among immigrants in Quebec, immigrants in the rest of Canada and Canadian-born individuals. We propose a simple structural model and conduct an empirical analysis in order to assess possible channels that can explain the health disparities for immigrants between two regions of the same country. Our results show that well-being and health indicators worsen significantly for immigrants in Quebec, compared to their counterparts in the rest of Canada and Canadian-born individuals. Additional econometric analysis also shows that life satisfaction is statistically and significantly associated with health outcomes. The proposed structural model predicts that, when the decision to migrate to a particular area is based on income alone, and if the fixed costs associated with the language barrier are large, immigrants may face health issues.
    Keywords: Immigrants, Canadian-born, well-being, health, Quebec.
    JEL: I14 I3 I30 J10
    Date: 2018–06–13
  3. By: Yang, Yang; Gu, Yangjie; Galak, Jeff
    Abstract: Thankfully, most product consumption experiences are positive. Unfortunately, however, those positive experiences are not always guaranteed to occur, and defects creep into the consumer experience. Though its assertion runs counter to most prescriptions, the current research proposes that exposing consumers to the mere possibility of these negative experiences, occurring in a consumption sequence increases consumers’ happiness with those experiences overtime. Six studies demonstrate this effect and further show that this effect is driven by hedonic responses as a result of favorable uncertainty resolution. That is, with the mere possibility of a negative experience, a consumer, who actually experiences a positive outcome, is likely to feel relief or pleasantness from not having to experience the negative experience. This research enriches existing literature on hedonic adaptation and uncertainty and has significant implications for consumer behavior.
    Keywords: hedonic adaptation; happiness; uncertainty; favorable uncertainty resolution
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2016–08–29
  4. By: Randall Akee (University of California, Los Angeles); Liqiu Zhao (Renmin University of China); Zhong Zhao (Renmin University of China)
    Abstract: China's new Labor Contract Law, which intended to strengthen the labor protection for workers, went into effect on January 1, 2008. The law stipulated that the maximum cumulative duration of successive fixed-term (temporary) labor contracts is 10 years, and employees working for the same employer for more than 10 consecutive years are able to secure an open-ended (permanent) labor contract under the new law, which is highly desirable to employees. However, in order to circumvent the new Labor Contract Law, some employers may have dismissed workers, after the passage of the new law, who had worked in the same firm for more than 10 years. Using data from the 2008 China General Social Survey, we find strong evidence that firms did in fact dismiss their formal-contract employees who have been employed for more than 10 years. Additionally, using a regression discontinuity design based on this exogenous change in unemployment status for this particular group of workers, we show that the dismissed workers suffered significant welfare loss in terms of happiness. Our results are robust to various specifications and placebo tests.
    Keywords: labor contract law, unemployment, happiness, regression discontinuity design, China
    JEL: J41 J64 I31
    Date: 2018–08

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