nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒11‒26
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Gains and losses: Does farmland expropriation harm farmers welfare? By Wang, D.; Qian, W.
  2. Does Health Insurance Make People Happier? Evidence from Massachusetts' Healthcare Reform By Kim, Seonghoon; Koh, Kanghyock
  3. The Causal Analysis of the Development of the Unemployment Effect on Life Satisfaction By Nils Lerch
  4. Compás Empresarial y de Competitividad No. 1 Regiones para vivir Índice Sintético de Calidad de Vida Departamental By Pérez, Carlos Andrés; Burbano, Carolina; Londoño, Harold

  1. By: Wang, D.; Qian, W.
    Abstract: Based on the data of China Household Income Project 2013(CHIP 2013), this paper empirically studies the impact of land expropriation on the objective and subjective welfare of farmers and explores its influence mechanisms. We firstly estimate the net effect of land expropriation on land-lost farmers individual income and happiness. The result shows that although the land expropriation improves their individual income, it significantly reduces their happiness scores. After we use another dataset CFPS2010 to solve endogeneity of geographical selection and apply propensity score matching (PSM) method to solve self-selection bias, the results are also robust. Then, the mechanism analysis shows that off-farm employment plays a mediation effect role so that land expropriation promotes rural labor transfer to non-agricultural employment market and increase their income, but higher occupation switching costs and the lack of social security is one of the important reasons resulting in the decrease of the landless farmers' happiness. To trace the institutional reason, China s splitted land system and its characteristic land expropriation compensation system not only deprived of farmers' land value-added income opportunities, but also failed to fully consider the occupational transformation and long-term security of landless farmers. Acknowledgement : The main funding source for the research is the National Natural Science Foundation of China(71673241).Thanks to Prof. Lu Ming for giving us advice during the research.
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Kim, Seonghoon (Singapore Management University); Koh, Kanghyock (Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: We study the effects of Massachusetts' healthcare reform on individuals' subjective well-being. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we find that the reform significantly improved Massachusetts residents' overall life-satisfaction. This result is robust to various sensitivity checks and a falsification test. We also find that the reform improved mental health. An additional analysis on the Tennessee healthcare reform supports our findings' external validity. Using the reform as an instrument for health insurance coverage, we estimate its large impact on overall life-satisfaction. Our results provide novel evidence on the psychological consequences of Massachusetts' healthcare reform.
    Keywords: health insurance, life satisfaction, happiness, subjective well-being, Massachusetts healthcare reform
    JEL: I13 I18 I31
    Date: 2018–10
  3. By: Nils Lerch
    Abstract: The long-term negative effects of unemployment, especially on subjective well-being, have been indicated by many studies. Therefore, unemployment and its effects on the individual life course must remain an important challenge for social policy. Many studies have focused on the cognitive component of subjective well-being, i.e., life satisfaction, and have analysed in particular its development during the unemployment period. The trajectory is usually characterized by the effects of anticipation, reaction and adaption. Studies have shown different findings regarding the shape of the effect development. The present study discusses the effect development in greater detail and analyses whether the development of the effect is different depending on unemployment experience using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and applying fixed effects regressions. The findings of this study support a non-linear effect development, which begins with the anticipation of unemployment. The trend can be described by a linear function and polynomials up to the fifth degree. The introduction of a model according to modern causal analysis and the interpretation of the dynamic development of the counterfactual outcomes are the secondary focuses of the study. A detailed discussion of causal assumptions and necessary control variables is needed to reveal the effect of unemployment on life satisfaction. The SOEP provides information about employment status on a monthly basis. This study shows possibilities for using this information for the construction of control groups and treatment groups and analyses with ideal episode patterns.
    Keywords: unemployment, SOEP, life satisfaction, causal analysis, FE-estimations, cognitive well-being
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Pérez, Carlos Andrés; Burbano, Carolina; Londoño, Harold
    Abstract: The Cámara de Comercio de Cali publishes this paper that presents the design and calculation of the Synthetic Quality of Life Index (ISCV) for the Colombian departments in 2016. The results allow identifying aggregately the way in which the different selected environmental conditions, grouped in the dimensions of Basic Conditions, Economic Opportunities and Human Capital, affect the probability that people can enjoy a better quality of life. The results show the great heterogeneity of environmental conditions among Colombian departments and allow orienting and prioritizing programs and public policies that could contribute more effectively to improving the quality of life in each region. In terms of the Index, Cundinamarca (including Bogotá), Valle del Cauca and Atlántico occupy the first positions among the group evaluated, indicating that the inhabitants of these departments can enjoy better living conditions. The design and measurement of this indicator represents a contribution in the field of study of the quality of life in Colombia, proposing a powerful set of variables, selected from the Principal Component Analysis method, which overcomes the statistical tests that validate the exercise.
    Keywords: Colombia, Quality of life,Regional Economic, Principal component analysis
    JEL: D2 D20 D21
    Date: 2017–11

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.