nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Well-being Effects of Extreme Weather Events in the United States By Ahmadiani, Mona; Ferreira, Susana
  2. Smoking Bans, Leisure Time, and Subjective Well-being By Chadi, Cornelia
  3. On the relevance of income and behavioral factors for absolute and relative donations: A framed field experiment By Simixhiu, Amantia; Ziegler, Andreas
  4. Are Retirees More Satisfied? – Anticipation and Adaptation Effects of Retirement on Subjective Well-Being: A Panel Analysis for Germany By Joachim Merz
  5. Informal Employment Relationships and the Labor Market: Is there Segmentation in Ukraine? By Hartmut Lehmann; Norberto Pignatti

  1. By: Ahmadiani, Mona; Ferreira, Susana
    Keywords: Resource and Environmental Policy Analysis, Environmental and Nonmarket Valuation, Natural Resource Economics
    Date: 2018–06–20
  2. By: Chadi, Cornelia
    Abstract: During 2007 and 2008 smoking bans were gradually implemented in all of Germany’s sixteen federal states to prohibit smoking in bars, restaurants, and dance clubs. Aimed at reducing smoking and improving health, tobacco control policies are often controversially discussed as they entail potential side effects. We exploit regional variation to identify effects of smoking bans on life satisfaction and leisure time satisfaction. Difference-in-differences estimates reveal that predicted smokers who used to visit bars regularly are less satisfied with life and leisure time, following the enforcement of a smoking ban. We show that changes in use of leisure time likely explain these findings. On the contrary, predicted non-smokers who did not visit bars and restaurants frequently benefit from the smoking bans, as their satisfaction with leisure time increases. They show an increase in hours spent on free-time activities and are more likely to go out with smoking bans in effect.
    Keywords: Smoking bans,subjective well-being,leisure time,treatment effects
    JEL: D62 I18 I31 J22 D62 I18 I31 J22
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Simixhiu, Amantia; Ziegler, Andreas
    Abstract: Based on data from a computer-based survey among more than 500 German respondents, this paper empirically examines the effect of actual equivalent income and estimated income position as well as behavioral factors on absolute and relative donations. Donations were measured in an incentivized framed field experiment, i.e. the respondents could spend money for three prominent environmental and social organizations. The perceived relative income refers to the estimated percentage of German households with a lower equivalent income compared to the own equivalent income. Furthermore, the behavioral factors are based on experimentally validated survey questions. Our preliminary econometric analysis with Tobit models shows that both actual equivalent income and estimated income position have significantly positive effects on absolute donations, whereby the effect of actual equivalent income is more dominant. This suggests that income perceptions play a minor role for donations compared to actual income. Surprisingly and in contrast to previous studies, income has a solid significantly negative effect on relative donations for all income groups. In addition, negative reciprocity has a significantly negative effect on both absolute and relative donations, which underlines the relevance at least of this behavioral factor. The estimation results also reveal that life satisfaction is significantly positively related with absolute donations. This suggests that positive feelings play an important role for donation activities.
    Keywords: Environmental and social donations,behavioral factors,actual equivalent income,estimated income position,Tobit models,framed field experiment
    JEL: C93 D31 D64 H24 H40
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Joachim Merz
    Abstract: Quality of life and satisfaction with life are of particular importance for individuals as well as for society concerning the “demographic change” with now longer retirement periods. This study will contribute to the life satisfaction discussion and quantifies life satisfaction and pattern of explanation before and after such a prominent life cycle event, the entrance into retirement. In particular, with the individual longitudinal data and 33 waves of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and the appropriate microeconometric causal fixed effects robust panel methods we ask and quantify if actual life satisfaction indeed is decreasing before retirement, is increasing at the entrance into retirement, and is decreasing then after certain periods back to a fore-going level. Thus, we ask if such an anticipation and adaptation pattern– as known from other prominent events – is also to discover for life satisfaction before and after retirement in Germany. Main result: Individual and family situation lift life satisfaction after retirement for many years, the (former) occupational situation, however, absorbs this effect both for pensioners and civil service pensioners. It remains only one period of improvement with close anticipation and adaptation at entering retirement but no furthermore significant change compared to pre-retirement life satisfaction. This holds for pensioners (German pension insurance, GRV) but there is no significant effect at all for civil service pensioners.
    Keywords: Retirement, life-satisfaction, happiness, retirement, anticipation and adaptation effects, fixed-effect regression, Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), Germany
    JEL: I31 J26 J14 J17 A13 C23
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Hartmut Lehmann (University of Bologna, IZA and DIW); Norberto Pignatti (International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi; IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: One of the most important factors that determine individuals’ quality of life and wellbeing is their position in the labor market and the type of jobs that they hold. When workers are rationed out of the formal segment of the labor market against their will, i.e., the labor market is segmented, their quality of life is limited, and their wellbeing is reduced. When they can freely choose between a formal or informal employment relationship, i.e., the labor market is integrated, their wellbeing can reach high levels even in the presence of informal employment. We, therefore, test whether the Ukrainian labor market is segmented along the formal-informal divide, slicing the data by gender and age. The analysis that we perform consist in the analysis of short-term and medium-term transitions between five employment states, unemployment and inactivity. We also analyze wage gaps of mean hourly earnings and across the entire hourly earnings distribution, controlling for time-invariant unobserved heterogeneity. According to our results segmentation is present for dependent employees: for a large part of informal employees informal employment is used as a waiting stage to enter formal salaried employment and is not voluntarily chosen. As far as self-employment is concerned the evidence is mixed regarding in the Ukrainian labor market. This heterogeneity in outcomes implies that not all informal work is associated with a low quality of life and reduced wellbeing in post-transition economies.
    Keywords: Informal Employment, Labor Market Segmentation, Transition Economies, Ukraine
    Date: 2018

This nep-hap issue is ©2018 by Viviana Di Giovinazzo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.