nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒04‒22
two papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Time use, unemployment, and well-being: an empirical analysis using British time-use data By Thi Truong An Hoang; Andreas Knabe
  2. How important are Personal Ties, Trust and Tolerance for Life Satisfaction in Europe? By Crowley, Frank; Walsh, Edel

  1. By: Thi Truong An Hoang; Andreas Knabe
    Abstract: We use nationally representative data from the UK Time-Use Survey 2014/2015 to investigate how a person’s employment status is related to time use and cognitive and affective dimensions of subjective well-being. We find that unemployed persons report substantially lower levels of life satisfaction than employed persons. When looking at specific types of activities, the unemployed enjoy most of the activities they engage in less than the employed. However, the employed consider working to be one of the least enjoyable activities. They also spend a large share of their time at work and with work-related activities, while the unemployed spend more time on leisure and more enjoyable activities instead. When looking at duration-weighted average affective well-being over the entire waking time of the day, our results suggest that the benefit of having to spend less time at work outweighs the negative emotional effect of unemployment during leisure episodes, such that the unemployed experience, on average, more enjoyment during the day than the employed.
    Keywords: unemployment, happiness, affective well-being, time use, Day Reconstruction Method
    JEL: I31 D91 J60 J22
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Crowley, Frank; Walsh, Edel
    Abstract: Many argue that the rise in populist support in Europe and elsewhere stems from people feeling marginalised, distrustful and generally dissatisfied. Against a backdrop of populism, this paper aims to examine the relationship between social capital and life satisfaction using data on 21,000 individuals from 14 European countries obtained from the Life in Transition Survey (2016). Specifically, we test the empirical significance of a novel social capital-wellbeing conceptual framework that incorporates three key dimensions of personal social capital; (i) structural (personal ties), (ii) cognitive (trust) and (iii) tolerance. This latter aspect is the most novel addition of this research to the theoretical and empirical literature as we argue that tolerance acts as a bridging mechanism between trust and ties in affecting overall wellbeing. Using ordered probit models the paper estimates the effect of social capital on life satisfaction by using an index for aggregate personal social capital, as well as separate indices for structural social capital, cognitive social capital and tolerance. The analysis also examines the interaction effects of social capital with individual and place characteristics of respondents. Among the results we find that strong structural ties with friends and family and being a tolerant, trusting individual improves life satisfaction. Of the social capital indicators, we find that trust in institutions has the largest marginal effect on life satisfaction. Also, interaction effects indicate that social capital could be a key ingredient in overcoming income inequalities, health inequalities and spatial inequalities at the individual level. We conclude that societies that fail to invest in social capital may be more politically unstable or more susceptible to widespread intolerance, distrust and ultimately discontent.
    Keywords: life satisfaction,social capital,ties,trust,tolerance,Europe
    Date: 2018

This nep-hap issue is ©2019 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.