nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒06‒10
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Types of Institutions and Well-Being of Self-Employed and Paid Employees in Europe By Fritsch, Michael; Sorgner, Alina; Wyrwich, Michael
  2. Capturing Affective Well‑Being in Daily Life with the Day Reconstruction Method: A Refined View on Positive and Negative Affect By Dave Möwisch; Florian Schmiedek; David Richter; Annette Brose
  3. The effect of immigration on natives’ well-being in the European Union By O’Connor, Kelsey J.
  4. Billionaires, millionaires, inequality, and happiness By Popov, Vladimir
  5. Living Standards, Inequality, and Human Development since 1870 : a Review of Evidence By Cha, Myung Soo; Prados de la Escosura, Leandro

  1. By: Fritsch, Michael (University of Jena); Sorgner, Alina (John Cabot University); Wyrwich, Michael (University of Jena)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of different types of institutions, such as entrepreneurship-facilitating entry conditions, labor market regulations, quality of government, and perception of corruption for individual well-being among self-employed and paid employed individuals. Well-being is operationalized by job and life satisfaction of individuals in 32 European countries measured by data from EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). We find that institutions never affected both occupational groups in opposite ways. Our findings indicate that labor market institutions do not play an important role well-being. The results suggest that fostering an entrepreneurial society in Europe is a welfare enhancing strategy that benefits both, the self-employed and paid employees.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship, institutions, well-being, life satisfaction, job satisfaction
    JEL: L26 I31 D01 D91 P51
    Date: 2019–05
  2. By: Dave Möwisch; Florian Schmiedek; David Richter; Annette Brose
    Abstract: In the last years, there has been a shift from traditional measurements of affective well-being to approaches such as the day reconstruction method (DRM). While the traditional approaches often assess trait level differences in well-being, the DRM allows examining affective dynamics in everyday contexts. The latter may ultimately explain why some people feel more happy than others (e.g., because they experience more gratification during everyday experiences). Even though DRM research has increased in the last years, little is known about the structure of affective well-being in everyday life, and potential structural differences of affect at the within- and between-person level have rarely been considered. We thus thoroughly examined the structure of affective well-being in daily life, using data from a nationally representative sample (N = 2401) of the German Socioeco-nomic Panel Innovation Sample that were obtained with the DRM. Multilevel structural equation models revealed that (1) affective well-being in daily life cannot be reduced to the two global dimensions positive and negative affect (PA and NA) but that the structure of NA is more nuanced; (2) the emerging subfacets of NA have distinct associations with global indicators of well-being (e.g., life satisfaction); (3) there are structural differences of affective well-being at the within- and between-person level, and (4) the relationships between affect subfacets and activities such as “work” can be opposed at the within- and between-person level. These results show that a more differentiated view on the structure of affect contributes to a better understanding of affective well-being in everyday life.
    Keywords: Day reconstruction method, Positive affect, Negative affect, Multilevel structural equation modeling, Subjective well-being
    Date: 2019
  3. By: O’Connor, Kelsey J.
    Abstract: Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Europe today, yet little is known about the overall effect of its multiple impacts. The analysis suggests natives need not worry. Increasing immigrant population shares have no statistically significant effects on natives’ well-being in 28 European Union countries over the years 1990- 2017 (EU12) and 2005-2017 (new member states) using macro data aggregated from Eurobarometer surveys. Immigration does not statistically affect natives’ well-being across all scenarios, such as: when observing the raw data or accounting for reverse causality and omitted variables using instrumental variable methods; accounting for whether or not immigrants are from the EU; and for population subgroups, notably the poorly educated and elderly. Refugees also do not statistically affect the well-being of natives. Any negative relations that are observed are not statistically significant and exhibit small magnitudes.
    Keywords: migration,refugees,life satisfaction,happiness,Eurobarometer
    JEL: I31 J11 O15
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Popov, Vladimir
    Abstract: The relationship between inequality and happiness is counterintuitive. This applies to both inequality in income and wealth distribution overall and also inequality at the very top of the wealth pyramid, as measured by billionaire intensity (the ratio of billionaire wealth to GDP). First, billionaire intensity appears to be higher in countries with low, not high, levels of income inequality. Second, happiness indices are higher in countries with high percentages of billionaire and millionaire wealth as a proportion of GDP, but with low levels of income inequality. This paper uses databases from the Forbes billionaires list, the Global Wealth Report (GWR), and the World Happiness Report, as well as from the World Database on Happiness. Using these datasets, I examine the relationship between income inequality and happiness for over 200 countries from 2000 to 2018. It turns out that in relatively poor countries – below $20,000-$30,000 per capita income – inequality raises happiness rather than lowers it, but inequality has a negative impact on happiness in rich countries. A certain degree of inequality of wealth and income distribution has a positive impact on happiness feelings, especially in countries with low levels of income. Furthermore, wealth inequalities, and especially the degree of concentration of wealth at the very top of the wealth pyramid, raise happiness self-evaluations even when income inequalities lower it.
    Keywords: Inequality in income and wealth distribution, share of billionaires’ and millionaires’ wealth in GDP, happiness indices; inequality in income and wealth distribution, share of billionaires’ and millionaires’ wealth in GDP, happiness indices
    JEL: D31 D63 I31
    Date: 2019–05–21
  5. By: Cha, Myung Soo; Prados de la Escosura, Leandro
    Abstract: During the last one‐and‐a‐half centuries, average world income grew 10‐fold, the composition of output and relative factor returns shifted, and globalization occurred. How have the fruits of growth been distributed among different income groups and countries? How did the West compare to the Rest of the world in terms of improving well‐being? In this survey, we conclude that consumption per person has grown over time, but more slowly than GDP per capita, as the share of private consumption declined, although was partly offset by the rising share of public consumption. Income inequality within countries fell from the early to late twentieth century and has risen in the recent decades. Living standards improved across the world, but the gap between the West and the Rest increased, and between‐country inequality widened over time until the 1990s, when the trend reversed. Among world inhabitants, income distribution has followed a similar trend, with inequality increasing up to 1990 and declining in the 21st century. Impressive long‐run gains in human development have taken place in the world without being interrupted by the economic slowdown and globalization backlash during 1914‐50.
    Keywords: Human Development; Well-being; Inequality; Living Standards
    JEL: O15 N30 I00

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