nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2018‒12‒03
four papers chosen by

  1. Moving to Despair? Internal Migration and Well-Being in Pakistan By Kosec, K.; Chen, J.; Mueller, V.
  2. Tracking pupils into adulthood: selective schools and long-term well-being in the 1958 British cohort By Jones, A.M.;; Pastore, C.;; Rice, N.;
  3. Introduction By Simplice A. Asongu
  4. The effect of relative concern on life satisfaction: Relative deprivation and loss aversion By Martín Leites; Xavier Ramos

  1. By: Kosec, K.; Chen, J.; Mueller, V.
    Abstract: Internal migration has the potential to substantially increase incomes, especially for the poor in developing countries, and yet migration rates remain low. We explore the role of mental health by evaluating the impacts of internal migration on a suite of well-being indicators using a unique longitudinal study in rural Pakistan which surveyed individuals in 1991 and again in 2013 14. We account for selection into migration using covariate matching. Those who migrated during this period have roughly 35 to 40 percent higher consumption per adult equivalent, yet they are 6 percentage points less likely to report being in excellent health, 5 to 7 percentage points more likely to report having been sick in the last four weeks, and 12 to 14 percentage points less likely to report feeling either happy or calm. Our results suggest that deteriorating physical health coupled with feelings of relative deprivation underlie the disparity between economic and mental well-being. Thus, despite substantial monetary gains from migration, people may be happier and less mentally distressed remaining at home. If traditional market mechanisms cannot reduce psychic costs, it may be more constructive to address regional inequality by shifting production rather than workers across space. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Jones, A.M.;; Pastore, C.;; Rice, N.;
    Abstract: We explore the effect of tracking pupils by ability into different secondary schools on adult health, well-being and labour outcomes in England. We address selection bias by balancing individual pre-treatment characteristics via entropy matching, followed by parametric regressions estimated via OLS and IV approaches. Ability tracking does not affect long-term health and well-being, while it marginally raises hourly wages for low-ability pupils, compared to a mixed-ability system. Cognitive and non-cognitive abilities measured prior to secondary school are more significant and positive predictors of adult outcomes. Particularly, non-cognitive skills may have a protective role for adult health for lower cognitive ability children.
    Keywords: ability tracking; educational reform; well-being; health; entropy balancing; instrumental variables;
    JEL: I28 I1 C21 C26
    Date: 2018–11
  3. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon)
    Abstract: This special section aims to advance scholarship on well-being and happiness in Africa. The section covers theoretical, conceptual and empirical contributions which address relevant areas that enhance extant knowledge on linkages between poverty, happiness and well-being in Africa.
    Keywords: Economic Growth; Inclusive Development; Well-Being
    JEL: D31 I10 I32 K40 O55
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Martín Leites (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Xavier Ramos (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Income comparisons are important for individual well-being. We examine the shape of the relationship between relative income and life satisfaction, and test empirically if the features of the value function of prospect theory carry on to experienced utility. We draw on a unique dataset for a middle-income country, that allows us to work with an endogenous reference income, which differs for individuals with the same observable characteristics, depending on the perception error about their relative position in the distribution. We find the value function for experienced utility to be concave for both positive and, at odds with prospect theory, also negative relative income. Loss aversion is only satisfied for incomes that are sufficiently distant from the reference income. Our heterogeneity analysis shows that the slope of the value function differs across individuals who care differently about income comparisons, people with different personality traits, or social beliefs.
    Keywords: Life satisfaction, relative income, loss aversion, prospect theory
    JEL: D6 I31
    Date: 2017–12

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