nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒09‒30
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Happiness Convergence in Transition Countries By Sergei Guriev; Nikita Melnikov
  2. What makes employees in modern offices happy and productive: the effects of internal and external office environment By Ieva Augutyte Kvedaraviciene; Rta Kazlauskait
  3. Transition, height and well-being By Adserà, Alicia; Dalla Pozza, Francesca; Guriev, Sergei; Kleine-Rueschkamp, Lukas; Nikolova, Elena
  4. The Distribution of Well-Being among Europeans By Andrea Brandolini; Alfonso Rosolia

  1. By: Sergei Guriev (Département d'économie); Nikita Melnikov (Higher School of Economics (HSE))
    Abstract: The “transition happiness gap” has been one of the most robust findings in the literature on life satisfaction. Until very recently, scholars using various datasets have shown that residents of post-communist countries were significantly less satisfied with their lives than their counterparts in non-transition countries (controlling for income and other socio-economic characteristics). The literature has explained this finding by the great macroeconomic instability of the 1990s, by a substantial decrease in the quality and accessibility of public goods, by the major increase in inequality, and by the rapid depreciation of pre-transition human capital. All these factors were expected to subside over time – at least after the post-Great-Recession recovery. In this paper, we consider two most recent datasets – the third wave of the Life in Transition Survey (administered in 2015–16) and the 2010–2016 waves of the annual Gallup World Poll. We find that by 2016 the transition happiness gap had closed. This convergence has taken place both due to a “happiness recovery” in post-communist countries after the Great Recession and due to a decrease in life satisfaction in comparator countries in recent years. We also find that the convergence in life satisfaction was primarily driven by middle-income young, educated individuals, regardless of gender.
    Date: 2018–09
  2. By: Ieva Augutyte Kvedaraviciene; Rta Kazlauskait
    Abstract: Effects of the office environment on employee well-being and performance have been analysed quite extensively. Nevertheless, the existing knowledge is rather fragmented, with majority of studies addressing some specific aspects of the physical environment and lacking a more comprehensive understanding of the effects of the physical environment on employee well-being and performance. Besides a vast majority of prior research investigates the effects of the internal environment, while studies of the external environment have only gained research attention in the past few years. In this study we look into the effects of both internal and external physical environment as well as overall satisfaction with the physical environment on employee motivation, job satisfaction, cooperation and self-perceived performance quality and accuracy. To test the above relationships, we conducted a survey of employees (n=274) working in modern offices (A and B class built or fully renovated not earlier than 2000). The results showed that there is a positive relationship between internal environment and all dependent variables under this study, while the external environment is positively related with motivation, cooperation and self-perceived performance. There is also a positive association between overall satisfaction with the physical environment all four dependent variables. In addition, our results show no significant association between office type and employee well-being and performance, while perceived privacy was found to be positively associated with job satisfaction and cooperation.
    Keywords: internal and external environment; modern offices; Performance; Well-Being
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2019–01–01
  3. By: Adserà, Alicia; Dalla Pozza, Francesca; Guriev, Sergei; Kleine-Rueschkamp, Lukas; Nikolova, Elena
    Abstract: Using newly available data, we re-evaluate the impact of transition from plan to market on objective and subjective well-being. We find clear evidence of the high social cost of early transition reforms: cohorts born around the start of transition are shorter than their older or younger peers. The difference in height suggests that the first years of reform were accompanied by major deprivation. We provide suggestive evidence on the importance of three mechanisms which partially explain these results: the decline of GDP per capita, the deterioration of healthcare systems, and food scarcity. On the bright side, we find that cohorts that experienced transition in their infancy are now better educated and more satisfied with their lives than their counterparts. Taken together, our results imply that the transition process has been a traumatic experience, but that its negative impact has largely been overcome.
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Andrea Brandolini; Alfonso Rosolia
    Abstract: We analyse the evolution of EU citizens’ living standards, considering the EU as a single country. Average living standards have improved considerably as the European integration process has unfolded. EU28 income inequality has steadily declined, mostly as a result of the macroeconomic convergence of new EU-accession countries. EU15 income inequality fell steadily until the mid-1980s, but picked up again during the economic turmoil following the Great Recession, largely reflecting the divergence between periphery and core countries in the euro area. Using a common EU standard reveals more progress in terms of poverty reduction. It also shows that the patterns of income convergence across member states differ across categories of residents, thus calling for a more careful consideration of the personal and national dimensions of EU policies.
    Keywords: European Union, Euro Area, European integration, income inequality, welfare
    JEL: D31 D63 E01 I32
    Date: 2019

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