nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒07‒29
eight papers chosen by

  1. ‘More Children, More Happiness?’: New Evidence from Elderly Parents in China By Gao, Yanyan; Qu, Zhaopeng
  2. The Causes and Consequences of Early-Adult Unemployment: Evidence from Cohort Data By Clark, Andrew E.; Lepinteur, Anthony
  3. Inflation, Unemployment and Happiness: empirical evidences of the contribution of Economic Growth. By Jalal El ouardighi; Francis Munier
  4. Parental Leave and Life Satisfaction: The Dutch case. By Laetitia Dillenseger; Martijn Burger; Francis Munier
  5. The Day after the Bomb: Well-being Effects of Terrorist Attacks in Europe By Emilio Colombo; Valentina Rotondi; Luca Stanca
  6. Three Revolutions of the Modern Era By Easterlin, Richard A.
  7. The Effects of Democratic Participation in Development Program on Happiness: Does Procedural Utility Matter? By Leng, Chenxin; Chen, Qianheng; Li, Li; Delgado, Michael
  8. When happy people make society unhappy: How incidental emotions affect compliance behavior By Fochmann, Martin; Hechtner, Frank; Kirchler, Erich; Mohr, Peter

  1. By: Gao, Yanyan; Qu, Zhaopeng
    Abstract: In this paper, we test the conventional wisdom in developing countries of ‘more children, more happiness’ by exploiting the cohort and provincial variations of elderly parents exposed to the one-child policy in China. Using nationally representative survey data from the 2015 China Health and Retirement Longitude Survey, the results from both the ordinary least square and two-stage least square methods find that more children can enhance elderly parents’ subjective well-being (SWB) measured with either life satisfaction or depression mood. The effect is channelled by raising their satisfaction with children and receiving in-kind transfers from children. The heterogeneity analysis also shows that the effect of children on parents’ life satisfaction is heterogenous to sex composition, first-birth gender, and parents' age. Our study provides new causal evidence of the impact of fertility on elderly parents’ SWB from a developing economy.
    Keywords: children,happiness,life satisfaction,elderly parents,depression,China
    JEL: J13 J14 I18 I31
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); Lepinteur, Anthony (University of Luxembourg)
    Abstract: We here use the employment-history data from the British Cohort Study to calculate an individual's total experience of unemployment from the time they left school up to age 30. We show that this experience is negatively correlated with the life satisfaction that the individual reports at age 30, so that past unemployment scars. We also identify the childhood circumstances and family background that predict this adult unemployment experience. Educational achievement and good behaviour at age 16 both reduce adult unemployment experience, and emotional health at age 16 is a particularly strong predictor of unemployment experience for women. Both boys and girls reproduce on average their parents' unemployment, so that adult unemployment experience is transmitted between generations. We uncover evidence of a social-norm effect: children from less-advantaged backgrounds both experience more adult unemployment but are less affected by it in well-being.
    Keywords: unemployment, life satisfaction, habituation
    JEL: J21 J63 I31
    Date: 2019–06
  3. By: Jalal El ouardighi; Francis Munier
    Abstract: This paper improves the understanding of the trade-off between inflation and unemployment and its impact on Subjective Well-Being (SWB), considering the role of the (Growth Domestic Product) GDP Growth and the issue of heterogeneity/nonlinearity. Effects on SWB depends on the spread between observed and potential GDP growth. The results point out country heterogeneity and nonlinearity of the marginal effects of macroeconomic variables on SWB. Economic growth moderates the relationship between unemployment as well as inflation and SWB. Both unemployment and GDP per capita growth rates have an important impact on Europeans’ SWB. Fostering economic growth must be one of the priorities of European policy.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, Economic growth, unemployment, inflation, heterogeneity / nonlinearity.
    JEL: C33 O10 I31
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Laetitia Dillenseger; Martijn Burger; Francis Munier
    Abstract: There is extensive literature on ambiguous effects of having children on life satisfaction. Although parenthood can provide a meaning of life, parenting may increase the amount of obligations and decrease leisure time, which in turn reduce life satisfaction. In the Netherlands, parental leave is a part-time work arrangement which allows parents with young children to reconcile better work and family commitments. Using data from the Dutch Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences (LISS), we analyzed the impact of taking parental leave on the life satisfaction of parents with young children. We found that the legal framework of Dutch parental leave offering job protected leave and fiscal benefits is crucial to enhance parents’ life satisfaction. Further, we estimated that short parental leave schemes are more conducive to life satisfaction than long parental leave schemes.
    Keywords: Parental Leave scheme, Children, Happiness, Satisfaction, Work-life balance, the Netherlands.
    JEL: C10 H53 I31
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Emilio Colombo; Valentina Rotondi; Luca Stanca
    Abstract: We study the non-monetary costs of the terrorist attacks occurred in France, Belgium and Germany between 2010 and 2017. Using four waves of the European Social Survey, we find that individuals' well-being is significantly reduced in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. We explore possible mechanisms for this effect, finding that terrorist attacks determine a reduction in generalized trust, institutional trust, satisfaction with democracy and satisfaction with the government. Terrorist attacks are also found to increase negative attitudes towards migrants and perceived discrimination. However, contrary to expectations, the negative impact of terrorism on well-being is less strong for Muslim immigrants. We posit that this occurs because immigrants benefit more than natives from the institutional reaction following the attacks.
    JEL: H56 I31
    Date: 2019
  6. By: Easterlin, Richard A. (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: The emergence and evolution of modern science since the 17th century has led to three major breakthroughs in the human condition. The first, the Industrial Revolution, started in the late 18th century and is based chiefly on developments associated with the rise of the natural sciences. The second, the Demographic Revolution, began in the latter half of the 19th century and is largely the result of progress in the life sciences. The third is a Happiness Revolution that commenced in the late 20th century and is the outgrowth of the social sciences. The first two revolutions, both familiar concepts, are summarized briefly; this paper develops the rationale for the third, the Happiness Revolution. It also notes the implications of this perspective for the interpretation of international cross-section studies.
    Keywords: Scientific Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Demographic Revolution, happiness, cross section
    JEL: N30 I31 C21
    Date: 2019–06
  7. By: Leng, Chenxin; Chen, Qianheng; Li, Li; Delgado, Michael
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development
    Date: 2019–06–25
  8. By: Fochmann, Martin; Hechtner, Frank; Kirchler, Erich; Mohr, Peter
    Abstract: Emotions have a strong impact on our everyday life, including our mental health, sleep pattern, overall well-being, and judgment and decision making. Our paper is the first study to show that incidental emotions, i.e., emotions not related to the actual choice problem, influence the compliance behavior of individuals. In particular, we provide evidence that individuals have a lower willingness to comply with social norms after being primed with positive incidental emotions compared with aversive emotions. This result is replicated in a second study. As an extension to our first study, we add a neutral condition as a control. Willingness to comply in this condition ranges between the other two conditions. Importantly, this finding indicates that the valence of an emotion but not its arousal drives the influence on compliance behavior. Furthermore, we show that priming with incidental emotions is only effective if individuals are - at least to some extent - emotionally sensitive.
    Keywords: compliance behavior,emotions,cheating,tax evasion,norms,experimental economics
    JEL: C91 D91 H26
    Date: 2019

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