nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒09‒23
nine papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Economic growth and well-being beyond the Easterlin paradox By Sarracino, Francesco; O'Connor, Kelsey J.
  2. Comparison is the Thief of Joy. Does Social Comparison Affect Migrants’ Subjective Well-Being? By Stranges, Manuela; Vignoli, Daniele; Venturini, Alessandra
  3. Does It Pay to Bet on Your Favourite to Win? Evidence on Experienced Utility from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Experiment By Kossuth, Lajos; Powdthavee, Nattavudh; Harris, Donna; Chater, Nick
  4. Leben in Schleswig-Holstein: subjektive Einschätzungen als Teil der Wohlfahrtsmessung By Benjamin Held
  5. Fear of Robots and Life Satisfaction By Tim Hinks
  6. Internal Migration, Social Stratification and Dynamic Effects on Subjective Well Being By Marcel Erlinghagen; Christoph Kern; Petra Stein
  7. Drivers of well-being in Hawaii: Quantifying individual and community impacts By Inessa Love; Philip Garboden
  8. The economy of well-being: Creating opportunities for people’s well-being and economic growth By Ana Llena-Nozal; Neil Martin; Fabrice Murtin

  1. By: Sarracino, Francesco; O'Connor, Kelsey J.
    Abstract: Recent studies suggest that economic growth and well-being can grow together in the long run in presence of generous social safety nets, increasing social capital and declining income inequality. We put these conditions to a test in an attempt to explain the absence of a relation between economic growth and well-being in Luxembourg. To this aim we apply an error correction model to a panel of 15 Western European countries, and we use the results to predict life satisfaction in Luxembourg between 1991 and 2015. We find that the flat trend of life satisfaction in Luxembourg is likely the result of four forces acting in opposite directions. This suggests that the available list of moderating conditions -- although not exhaustive -- is a promising starting point to design new policies to durably improve well-being.
    Keywords: time-series; subjective well-being; error correction model; life satisfaction; dynamics; inclusive growth
    JEL: D60 E6 I31 O11 O21
    Date: 2019–09–13
  2. By: Stranges, Manuela; Vignoli, Daniele; Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the growing strand of literature that investigates migrants’ subjective wellbeing by analysing how the social comparison with two reference groups (natives and other migrants) within the host country affects migrants’ life satisfaction. Using data from six rounds of the European Social Survey, we constructed two measures of economic distance that compare each migrant’s situation with the average of the group of natives and the group of migrants with similar characteristics. Our results indicate that when the disadvantage between the migrant and the reference groups becomes smaller, migrant’s life satisfaction increases. The effect of the social comparison with natives appears larger than the social comparison with migrants and, in both cases, it is stronger for individuals with higher levels of education. We also show that social comparison is stronger for second generation migrants than for first generation migrants and, within this latter group, it intensifies as length of stay in the host country increases. Overall, the role of social comparison seems crucial to understanding patterns of integration in an enlarged Europe.
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: Kossuth, Lajos (Warwick Business School); Powdthavee, Nattavudh (University of Warwick); Harris, Donna (University of Oxford); Chater, Nick (Warwick Business School)
    Abstract: This paper examined whether people gained significant emotional benefits from not engaging in emotional hedging – betting against the occurrence of desired outcomes. Using the 2018 FIFA World Cup as the setting for a lab-in-the-field experiment, we found substantial reluctance among England supporters to bet against the success of the England football team in the tournament. This decision not to offset a potential loss through hedging did not pay off in people's happiness following an England win. It was, however, associated with a sharp decrease in people's happiness following an England loss. Post-match happiness is relatively more stable among those who chose to hedge or were randomly allocated to hedge. We conclude that people do not hedge enough partly because they tend to overestimate the expected diagnostic cost of betting against their social identity, while underestimate the negative emotional impact from betting on their favourite to win when they did not win.
    Keywords: hedging, happiness, social identity, wellbeing, world cup, experienced utility
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2019–09
  4. By: Benjamin Held
    Abstract: In recent years, the debate about alternative measures of welfare (“beyond GDP”) has con-siderably gained momentum in Germany. This was the case not only on the national level: The demand for such measures has risen on the federal states level, too. For that reason, and in the context of a study whose main purpose was to calculate the Regional Welfare Index (RWI) for Schleswig-Holstein (SH), we also analyzed survey data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for SH and – in order the compare and classify the results – for the rest of Germany. The observation period ranges from 1984 to 2014 (SOEP v31). The research topics include satisfaction (life in general/specific areas; current/anticipated), concerns, im-portance, interest for politics and feelings. The evaluation shows among other findings that… – overall life satisfaction in SH has increased significantly in recent years, – the people in SH are on average a little more satisfied than in the rest of Germany, – the trust in the future in SH reached in 2014 its highest level, – people in SH are less concerned about economic issues, but more concerned about "peacekeeping", "health" and "environmental protection", – social aspects are particularly important to people in SH, – the importance of social engagement in 2014 is as highly valued in SH as never be-fore, – people in SH were happier in 2014 than in the medium-term average. At the end of this contribution, the trends of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Region-al Welfare Index (RWI) and the current general life satisfaction are compared. They differ significantly from each other Die Debatte um (andere) Indikatoren zur Messung gesellschaftlicher Wohlfahrt und eines „guten Lebens“ hat in den vergangenen Jahren deutlich an Fahrt aufgenommen. Und das nicht nur auf Bundesebene. Auch auf der Ebene der Bundesländer wächst die Nachfrage nach solchen Indikatoren. Im Rahmen einer Studie zur Berechnung des Regionalen Wohlfahrtsindex (RWI) wurden deswegen auch subjektive Befragungsdaten des Sozio-Ökonomischen Panels (SOEP) für das Bundesland Schleswig-Holstein (SH) ausgewertet.1 Neben SH-spezifischen Auswertungen wurden zur Einordnung der Ergebnisse auch bundesdeutsche Werte (exkl. SH) berechnet. Betrachtet werden für den Zeitraum 1984-2014 (SOEP v31) die Bereiche Zufriedenheit (allgemein/Bereiche), Sorgen, Wichtigkeit, Interesse für Politik und Gefühle.Die Auswertungen ergeben unter anderem, dass…– die allgemeine Lebenszufriedenheit in SH in den letzten Jahren deutlich gestiegen ist;– die Menschen in SH im Durchschnitt etwas zufriedener sind als im Rest Deutschlands;– die Zukunftszuversicht in SH im Jahr 2014 Höchstwerte erreichte;– die Menschen in SH sich weniger Sorgen um wirtschaftliche Themen, dafür mehr Sorgen um „Friedenserhaltung“, „Gesundheit“ und „Umweltschutz“ machen;– den Menschen in SH soziale Aspekte besonders wichtig sind;– die Wichtigkeit von gesellschaftlichem Engagement im Jahr 2014 in SH so hoch eingeschätzt wurde wie nie;– die Menschen in SH im Jahr 2014 häufiger glücklich waren als im mittelfristigen Durchschnitt.Schließlich werden die Entwicklungen des Bruttoinlandsprodukts (BIP), des Regionalen Wohlfahrtsindex (RWI) und der allgemeinen Lebenszufriedenheit in SH für den Zeitraum 1999-2014 miteinander verglichen. Bei diesem Vergleich zeigen sich deutliche Unterschiede.
    Keywords: Wohlfahrtsmessung, subjektive Indikatoren, Zufriedenheit, SOEP
    JEL: D63 D69 I31 I39
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Tim Hinks (University of the West of England, Bristol)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether fear of robots is correlated with life satisfaction. After controlling for individual effects and country effects and using both standard ordinary least squares and a linear multilevel regression model we find fear of robots correlates with lower reported life satisfaction. There are differences in the fear of robots and life satisfaction by age group, by how long countries have been members of the European Union and by whether we control for attitudes towards other things. We call for more research into attitudes towards technology and new technologies in particular, how these impact on current life satisfaction and other aspects of quality of life and to think more about how technological change and people’s attitudes towards these can be more aligned.
    Date: 2019–01–02
  6. By: Marcel Erlinghagen; Christoph Kern; Petra Stein
    Abstract: Using German panel data and relying on internal relocation, this paper investigates the anticipation and adaptation of subjective well-being (SWB) in the course of migration. We hypothesize that SWB correlates with the process of migration, and that such correlations are at least partly socially stratified. Our fixed-effects regressions show no evidence of any anticipation of SWB before the event of migration, but a highly significant and sustained positive adaptation effect. In general, internal migration seems to lead to a long-lasting increase in SWB. This is found to be the case for almost all analyzed socioeconomic and socio-demographic subgroups. The migration distance, the reasons for migration, and the individuals’ socio-demographic characteristics do not appear to have any important effects on the overall observed pattern. Our results suggest that regional mobility is less a response to certain stressors, but is, rather, a response to an opportunity to improve job- or housing-related living conditions, and that these improved conditions are reflected in individuals’ SWB. Thus, migration under these circumstances is triggered by opportunities rather than by constraints.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, migration, relocation, life course, adaptation, anticipation
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Inessa Love (University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Department of Economics, UHERO); Philip Garboden (University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, UHERO)
    Abstract: In Gallup’s annual well-being index, Hawaii occupied the #1 spot among US states for six out of the past 10 years (slipping to #3 in the latest 2017 survey) despite having one of the nation’s highest costs of living. Thus, Hawaii presents a unique environment to study happiness and well-being. This report presents our analysis of which individual and community factors are most associated with well-being.
    Keywords: Housing
    Date: 2019–09
  8. By: Ana Llena-Nozal (OECD); Neil Martin (OECD); Fabrice Murtin (OECD)
    Abstract: As well-being has matured as a statistical and measurement agenda, it has become increasingly relevant as a “compass” for policy, with a growing number of countries using well-being metrics to guide decision-making and inform budgetary processes. One remaining challenge has consisted in providing policy-makers with a better understanding of the linkages between the drivers of well-being and economic growth. This paper develops the concept of an “Economy of Well-being” as a basis for highlighting these linkages and showing how policy can most effectively leverage them. The paper defines an economy of well-being around the idea of a “virtuous circle” in which individual well-being and long-term economic growth are mutually reinforcing. It also explores the characteristics of an economy of well-being and the conditions under which it can be sustained. Secondly, based on a survey of existing empirical evidence, the paper contributes to outline how economies of well-being can be built. It provides analysis of several important channels through which economic growth and well-being support and reinforce one another, focusing on the multidimensional impact of policies in four areas that research has shown to be important for well-being: Education and Skills; Health; Social Protection and Redistribution; and Gender Equality.
    Keywords: equality of opportunity, multidimensional analysis, policy linkages, social investment, well-being
    JEL: D61 I14 I24 I38
    Date: 2019–09–20
  9. By: Marco Bertoni (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali "Marco Fanno", Università di Padova); Giorgio Brunello (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Aziendali "Marco Fanno", Università di Padova); Marco Alberto De Benedetto (Dipartimento di Economia, Università degli Studi di Messina,); Maria De Paola (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: We use the repeated random assignment of external examiners to school institutes in Italy to investigate whether the effect of external monitoring on test score manipulation persists over time. We find that this effect is still present in the tests taken one year after exposure to the examiners, and is stronger for open-ended questions, for small school institutes, and for institutes located in the northern and central regions of the country. In the second year after exposure, however, this effect disappears, suggesting that monitoring is a symptomatic treatment rather than a cure of score manipulation. We discuss learning, reputational concerns, peer pressure and teacher preferences as potential mechanisms behind our findings, and present some evidence on the role played by social capital and high stakes.
    Keywords: education, testing, external monitoring, long-run effects
    JEL: H52 I2
    Date: 2019–09

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.
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