nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒10‒29
five papers chosen by

  1. How are different means of happiness related? Life, job and income satisfaction in Turkey By Asl? E. Mert
  2. Income, Psychological Well-being, and the Dynamics of Poverty: Evidence from South Africa By Alloush, M.
  3. Will access to internet affect the subjective well-being of rural residents in China? By Zhao, Jianmei
  4. Happiness, Behavioral Economics, and Public Policy By Arik Levinson
  5. Well-being and self-determination: an empirical study in Japan (Japanese) By NISHIMURA Kazuo; YAGI Tadashi

  1. By: Asl? E. Mert (Koç University)
    Abstract: This study investigates life (happiness), job and income satisfaction of women and men in paid work according to different demographic and value-based (in terms of the values associated with paid work and income) components, and to the extent they are correlated (findings are derived using the Life Satisfaction Survey (2016) provided by Turkish Statistical Institute). Preliminary descriptive statistics refer to relatively lower income satisfaction levels of women and men in Turkey (46.0 per cent of women and 48.6 per cent of men report that they are ?satisfied? or ?very satisfied? with their income), moderate levels of overall happiness levels (59.1 per cent of women and 59.6 per cent of men report that they are ?happy? or ?very happy? with their lives) and relatively higher levels of job satisfaction (81.0 per cent of women and 80.9 per cent of men report that they are ?satisfied? or ?very satisfied? with their jobs). Spearman's rank correlation coefficients demonstrate that happiness (life satisfaction) levels of women and men in paid work are positively correlated with their job and income satisfaction levels, and there is also a positive correlation between their job satisfaction and income satisfaction levels, all of which are on a weak to moderate level yet statistically significant. For men, the correlation between happiness and job satisfaction has the lowest (yet positive) value, whereas for women the lowest (though positive) value is observed for the relationship between happiness and income satisfaction. For both women and men, the correlation between job satisfaction and income satisfaction has the highest value, which is slightly stronger for women. The findings of this study support the spillover hypothesis, which claims that life and job satisfaction are positively correlated (income satisfaction also being involved in this context) as these components affect each other (Strauser, 2014).Strauser, D. R. (2014). Career development, employment, and disability in rehabilitation: From theory to practice. Springer Publishing Company.Turkish Statistical Institute. (2016). Life satisfaction survey.
    Keywords: Sociology of Happiness, Sociology of Economics, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, gender and happiness, income satisfaction, happiness, well-being, spillover hypothesis
    JEL: A14 J28 J01
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Alloush, M.
    Keywords: International Development, Behavioral & Institutional Economics, Research Methods/Econometrics/Stats
    Date: 2018–06–20
  3. By: Zhao, Jianmei
    Keywords: Rural/Community Development, Behavioral & Institutional Economics, Household and Labor Economics
    Date: 2018–06–20
  4. By: Arik Levinson (Department of Economics, Georgetown University)
    Abstract: The economics of "happiness" shares a feature with behavioral economics that raises questions about its usefulness in public policy analysis. What happiness economists call "habituation" refers to the fact that people's reported well-being reverts to a base level, even after major life events such as a disabling injury or winning the lottery. What behavioral economists call "projection bias" refers to the fact that people systematically mistake current circumstances for permanence, buying too much food if shopping while hungry for example. Habituation means happiness does not react to long-term changes, and projection bias means happiness over-reacts to temporary changes. I demonstrate this outcome by combining responses to happiness questions with information about air quality and weather on the day and in the place where those questions were asked. The current day's air quality affects happiness while the local annual average does not. Interpreted literally, either the value of air quality is not measurable using the happiness approach or air quality has no value. Interpreted more generously, projection bias saves happiness economics from habituation, enabling its use in public policy.
    Keywords: stated well-being, habituation, pollution, environmental economics
    JEL: D03 H41 Q51
    Date: 2018–10–22
  5. By: NISHIMURA Kazuo; YAGI Tadashi
    Abstract: According to the United Nations World Happiness Report, Japan's happiness level is not very high, and its "freedom of choice in life" tends to be low. Since the 1970s, one of the important themes in studying happiness has been that the sense of happiness does not necessarily correlate with income level. In this research, we surveyed 20,000 Japanese people and asked various questions to analyze income, educational background, health, human relations, and self-determination as explanatory variables. As a result, in terms of age, we found a U-shaped curve in which happiness falls in middle age, and in relation to income, the subjective feeling of well-being does not increase as income increases. In addition, self-determination has a stronger influence than income and education as a factor that determines happiness, following health and human relations. It appears that deciding by oneself will enhance the motivation and satisfaction of action that one has chosen, which will lead also to a higher degree of well-being. It is worth noting that people with high self-determination have a high degree of happiness in Japanese society where freedom of choice in life is considered to be lower.
    Date: 2018–09

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