nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒09‒09
six papers chosen by

  1. Long-Term Consequences of Group Work in Japanese Public Elementary Schools By Kohei Kubota; Takahiro Ito; Fumio Ohtake
  2. Quantifying the Intangible Impact of the Olympics Using Subjective Well-Being Data By Dolan, Paul; Kavetsos, Georgios; Krekel, Christian; Mavridis, Dimitris; Metcalfe, Renuka; Senik, Claudia; Szymanski, Stefan; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
  3. The Impact of the State on the Quality of an Economic System: A Cross-Country Analysis By Maciej Ba³towski; Piotr Kozarzewski
  4. Identity conflict: A framework and empirical investigation By Jolian McHardy; Anita Ratcliffe
  5. Feeling rich vs. being rich: Subjective vs. objective well-being in Ghana By Naschold, Felix; Capitan, Tabare
  6. Standing in Others’ Shoes: Empathy and Positional Behavior By Akay, Alpaslan; Karabulut, Gökhan; Terzioğlu, Bilge

  1. By: Kohei Kubota (Faculty of Commerce, Chuo University); Takahiro Ito (Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University); Fumio Ohtake (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: Using original web survey data, this study investigates the long-term consequences of the experience of group work, which is a common teaching practice. We examined the convention in the context of Japanese public elementary schools, which are considered to be less susceptible to self-selection bias, in order to improve on the research conditions of previous studies. The regression results show that the experience of group work is negatively associated with annual income and financial assets. Furthermore, we find that the experience of group work does not relate to well-being and life satisfaction and that those who experienced group work attach higher satisfaction to human relationships and less satisfaction to household economic status. From the insignificant association between group work and well-being/whole life satisfaction, it may be interpreted that the positive association with satisfaction related to human relationships offsets the negative association with satisfaction regarding one fs present economic status. We also show that experience of group work is negatively associated with cognitive skills but is positively associated with altruistic and positive reciprocal behavior.
    Keywords: Teaching practice, Annual income, Well-being, Cognitive skills, Non-cognitive skills
    JEL: D83 I21 I31 Z13
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Dolan, Paul (London School of Economics); Kavetsos, Georgios (Queen Mary, University of London); Krekel, Christian (London School of Economics); Mavridis, Dimitris (World Bank); Metcalfe, Renuka (Swansea University); Senik, Claudia (Paris School of Economics); Szymanski, Stefan (University of Michigan); Ziebarth, Nicolas R. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: Hosting the Olympic Games costs billions of taxpayer dollars. Following a quasi- experimental setting, this paper assesses the intangible impact of the London 2012 Olympics, using a novel panel of 26,000 residents in London, Paris, and Berlin during the summers of 2011, 2012, and 2013. We show that hosting the Olympics increases subjective well-being of the host city's residents during the event, particularly around the times of the opening and closing ceremonies. However, we do not find much evidence for legacy effects. Estimating residents' implicit willingness-to-pay for the event, we do not find that it was worth it for London alone, but a modest wellbeing impact on the rest of the country would make hosting worth the costs.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, life satisfaction, happiness, intangible effects, Olympic Games, sport events, quasi-natural experiment
    JEL: I30 I31 I38 L83
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Maciej Ba³towski; Piotr Kozarzewski
    Abstract: The paper discusses the role of the state in shaping an economic system which is, in line with the welfare economics approach, capable of performing socially important functions and achieving socially desirable results. We describe this system through a set of indexes: the IHDI, the World Happiness Index, and the Satisfaction of Life index. The characteris-tics of the state are analyzed using a set of variables which describe both the quantitative (government size, various types of governmental expenditures, and regulatory burden) and qualitative (institutional setup and property rights protection) aspects of its functioning. The study examines the “old” and “new” member states of the European Union, the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe and Asia, and the economies of Latin America. The main conclusion of the research is that the institutional quality of the state seems to be the most important for creation of a socially effective economic system, while the level of state interventionism plays, at most, a secondary and often negligible role. Geographical differentiation is also discovered, as well as the lack of a direct correlation between the characteristics of an economic system and the subjective feeling of well-being. These re-sults may corroborate the neo-institutionalist hypothesis that noneconomic factors, such as historical, institutional, cultural, and even genetic factors, may play an important role in making the economic system capable to perform its tasks; this remains an area for future research.
    Keywords: economic system, economic policy, welfare economics, institutions, role of the state in the economy
    JEL: P10 D63 H11 O15
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Jolian McHardy (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield); Anita Ratcliffe (Department of Economics, University of Sheffield)
    Abstract: We develop a theoretical framework to analyse the implications of individuals belonging to multiple groups and trying to maintain multiple identities. Using the term identity conflict to refer to any outcome where individuals face penalties for failure to satisfy the norms of all groups, we show that identity conflict arises in various settings where group norms differ, and also in settings where the actions required to satisfy all group norms coincide. In addition, we show that identity conflict may not materialise even if group norms differ. Exploiting data on subjective wellbeing in a nationally representative survey, we show that identity conflict is a real phenomenon in the context of national and religious identities. Our results suggest that the cost of identity conflict is large, and of similar magnitude to that of experiencing discrimination in the labour market. Moreover, we find that education, as opposed to religious affiliation, shapes the cost of identity conflict.
    Keywords: Identity economics, identity conflict, subjective wellbeing
    JEL: D7 Z1
    Date: 2019–08
  5. By: Naschold, Felix; Capitan, Tabare
    Keywords: International Development
    Date: 2019–06–25
  6. By: Akay, Alpaslan (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Karabulut, Gökhan (Istanbul University, Department of Economics); Terzioğlu, Bilge (Istanbul University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Studies show that people are concerned with other people’s consumption position in a varying degree with respect to the type of goods consumed and individual characteristics. Using both survey experiments and a large survey of subjective wellbeing(SWB) dataset, this paper presents robust associations between the degree of empathic capacity and positional concerns for consumption items involving pleasure and pain. The paper exploits both empathy quotient (EQ) and interpersonal reactivity index (IRI) measures of empathic capacity, i.e., dispositional empathy, which are sufficient measures capturing affective and cognitive aspects of empathy. Positional concerns are identified directly using a series of stated choice experiments and indirectly using the SWB approach. The main result of the paper is that positional concerns vary substantially with the levels of empathic capacity. Both EQ and IRI are found to be positively associated with positional concerns for “goods” (e.g., after-tax income, market value of a luxury car), reflecting a degree of selfregarded feelings and behavior to reduce personal distress, and negatively associated with positional concerns for “bads” (e.g., working hours and poverty rates), reflecting a degree of other-regarding feelings and behavior. The results are robust with respect to various checks including statistical specifications, reference groups, and omitted variables (e.g., prosocial behavior and competitivity) that could bias the results.
    Keywords: Dispositional Empathy; Survey Experiments; Positional Concerns
    JEL: C90 D63
    Date: 2019–09

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