nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒11‒12
six papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The influence of demographic factors on South African investors' life satisfaction By Susara Johanna Ferreira
  2. The Power and Promise of Early Learning By Elizabeth A. Shuey; Miloš Kankaraš
  3. The ''Good Workplace'': The Role of Joint Consultative Committees, Unions and HR policies in Employee Ratings of Workplaces in Britain By Michael Barry; Alex Bryson; Rafael Gomez; Bruce Kaufman; Guenther Lomas; Adrian Wilkinson
  4. Unsuccessful subjective well-being assimilation among immigrants: The role of faltering perceptions of the host society By Martijn Hendriks; Martijn (M.J.) Burger
  5. The Joy of Lottery Play: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Martijn (M.J.) Burger; Martijn Hendriks; Emma Pleeging; Jan (J.C.) van Ours
  6. Incidental emotions and risk-taking: An experimental analysis By Annarita Colasante; Matteo M. Marini; Alberto Russo

  1. By: Susara Johanna Ferreira (North West University)
    Abstract: Satisfaction with life is not always a set concept and may vary according to the demography of investors. Demographical factors can classify investors into various categories of life satisfaction, which can ultimately impact investment decisions. The level of life satisfaction can influence investment by causing a deviation between expected and actual investment choices. Gender can be grouped between males and females with different investment decisions based on each group?s satisfaction with life. The aim of this study is to determine the satisfaction with life of investors considering their gender, age group, ethnicity, income group and marital status. The results of the study show that male investors are more likely to have a positive life satisfaction and make optimistic investment choices compared to female investors. Investors who are older than 50 years of age, married or earn more than R700 000 annually are more likely to have a positive life satisfaction and make more optimistic investment choices, while investors with a negative life satisfaction are more likely to make pessimistic investment choices.
    Keywords: Satisfaction with life, investors, demographic factors, investment choices
    JEL: G00 M50 G29
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Elizabeth A. Shuey (OECD); Miloš Kankaraš (OECD)
    Abstract: Early learning matters and can be strengthened and supported through contexts where children spend much of their time. Strong early learning experiences provide young children with opportunities to enjoy exploring their own interests and growing capabilities. Strong early learning also positively predicts well-being across a range of indicators in adulthood, including general well-being, physical and mental health, educational attainment and employment. Areas of early learning that are of particular importance include: language and literacy; numeracy and other non-verbal cognitive skills; self-regulation; emotional health, social well-being and social and emotional skills. These domains are interrelated, meaning that holistic assessment of a range of skills is necessary to understand well-being in early childhood and its implications for the future. Assessment of early learning provides an essential opportunity to reflect on whether governments, communities, schools and families are supporting the power and promise of early learning as intended.
    Date: 2018–11–06
  3. By: Michael Barry (Griffith University); Alex Bryson (University College London, National Institute of Social and Economic Research and Institute for the Study of Labor); Rafael Gomez (University of Toronto); Bruce Kaufman (Georgia State University and Griffith Business School); Guenther Lomas (University of Toronto); Adrian Wilkinson (Griffith Business School)
    Abstract: Using new, rich data on a representative sample of British workers, we examine the relationship between joint consultation systems at the workplace and employee satisfaction, accounting for possible interactions with union and management-led high-commitment strategies. We focus on non-union employee representation at the workplace, in the form of joint consultative committees (JCCs), and the potential moderating effects of union representation and high-involvement human resource (HIHR) practices. Our findings suggest a re-evaluation of the role that JCCs play in the subjective well-being of workers even after controlling for unions and HIHR policies. There is no evidence in our estimates of negative interaction effects (i.e., that unions or HIHR negatively influence the functioning of JCCs with respect to employee satisfaction) or full mediation (i.e., that unions or HIHR are substitutes for JCCs when it comes to improving self-reported worker well-being). If anything, there is a significant and positive three-way moderating effect when JCCs are interacted with union representation and high-involvement management. This is the first time -- to the authors' knowledge -- that comprehensive measures of subjective employee well-being have been estimated with respect to the presence of a JCC at the workplace, whilst controlling for workplace institutions that are themselves designed to involve and communicate with workers.
    Keywords: worker representation; unions; joint consultative committees; HRM; job satisfaction
    JEL: J53 J58 J83
    Date: 2018–10–01
  4. By: Martijn Hendriks (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Martijn (M.J.) Burger (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Immigrants in developed countries typically fail to assimilate in terms of subjective well-being, meaning that their happiness and life satisfaction do not substantially increase with their length of stay or across generations, and therefore their subjective well-being remains lower than that of natives. This contrasts with migrants’ own expectations and the predictions of straight-line assimilation theory, along with the general improvement of immigrants’ objective living conditions with their length of stay. Using European Social Survey data, we show that the subjective well-being assimilation of first-generation immigrants in developed European countries is impaired by the gradual development of less positive perceptions of the host country’s economic, political, and social conditions. These faltering societal perceptions particularly affect immigrants whose societal conditions strongly improved by migration and immigrants who arrived after childhood. Faltering societal perceptions continue to impair subjective well-being assimilation across generations. However, compared with natives, first-generation immigrants derive a subjective well-being advantage from their more positive societal perceptions. We attribute these findings to immigrants’ growing aspirations and expectations that follow from their habituation to better conditions in their host country and fewer (more) comparisons to inferior (better) conditions of the people in their home (host) country. Our findings suggest that delaying or decelerating the process of immigrants’ faltering societal perceptions is a promising pathway to improved subjective well-being assimilation and reduced frustration about their perceived lack of progress.
    Keywords: subjective well-being; migration; assimilation; aspirations; expectations
    JEL: I31 F22
    Date: 2018–10–28
  5. By: Martijn (M.J.) Burger (Erasmus School of Economics); Martijn Hendriks (Erasmus School of Economics); Emma Pleeging (Erasmus School of Economics); Jan (J.C.) van Ours (Erasmus School of Economics)
    Abstract: We conducted a field experiment to increase our understanding of lottery participation. Using representative data for the Netherlands, we find that lottery participation increased the happiness of participants before the draw. Winning a small prize had no effect on happiness. Our results indicate that people may not only care about the outcomes of the lottery, but also enjoy the game. Accordingly, we conclude that lottery play has a utility value in itself and part of the lottery ticket is consumed before the draw.
    Keywords: lottery play; happiness; field experiment
    JEL: C93 I31
    Date: 2018–10–28
  6. By: Annarita Colasante (LEE & Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón-Spain); Matteo M. Marini (LEE & Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón-Spain; Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Italy); Alberto Russo (Dept. de Teoría e Historia Económica, University of Granada, Spain)
    Abstract: In this paper we conduct a laboratory experiment in order to investigate the effect of incidental sadness and happiness on risky decision making. An emotion induction procedure is the treatment variable of a between-subjects design where two sessions aim at eliciting either sadness or happiness, respectively. Two further groups are characterized by neutral conditions and serve as baseline. After a manipulation check verifies the validity of the induction procedure, we use a multiple price list à la Holt and Laury (2002) to elicit individual risk preferences in the context of a lottery-choice task. The analysis reveals that both sadness and happiness promote greater risk aversion with respect to neutral conditions, a result which might be moderated by the risk elicitation task. Therefore, as compelling explanation we propose the theory of ego depletion, whereby regulating emotions so as to subsequently process information consumers a limited self-control resource, which is needed to take risks as well.
    Keywords: laboratory experiment, emotions, preference elicitation, risk aversion, ego depletion
    JEL: C91 D81
    Date: 2018

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