nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒10‒28
five papers chosen by

  1. Trans People, Transitioning, Mental Health, Life and Job Satisfaction By Drydakis, Nick
  2. Occupant Well-Being and House Values By Richard H. Rijnks; Stephen Sheppard
  3. Does Employee Happiness Have an Impact on Productivity? By Clément S. Bellet; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; George Ward
  4. National happiness and Environment quality in Africa. By Noubissi Domguia, Edmond; POUMIE, Boker
  5. Disability and Multi-Dimensional Quality of Life: A Capability Approach to Health Status Assessment By Anand, Paul; Roope, Laurence; Culyer, Anthony J.; Smith, Ron P.

  1. By: Drydakis, Nick (Anglia Ruskin University)
    Abstract: For trans people (i.e. people whose gender is not the same as the sex they were assigned at birth) evidence suggests that transitioning (i.e. the steps a trans person may take to live in the gender with which they identify) positively affects positivity towards life, extraversion, ability to cope with stress, optimism about the future, self-reported health, social relations, self-esteem, body image, enjoyment of tasks, personal performance, job rewards and relations with colleagues. These relationships are found to be positively affected by gender affirmation and support from family members, peers, schools and workplaces, stigma prevention programmes, coping intervention strategies, socioeconomic conditions, anti-discrimination policies, and positive actions. Also important are legislation including the ability to change one's sex on government identification documents without having to undergo sex reassignment surgery, accessible and affordable transitioning resources, hormone therapy, surgical treatments, high-quality surgical techniques, adequate preparation and mental health support before and during transitioning, and proper follow-up care. Societal marginalization, family rejection, violations of human and political rights in health care, employment, housing and legal systems, gendered spaces, and internalization of stigma can negatively affect trans people's well-being and integration in societies. The present study highlights that although transitioning itself can bring well-being adjustments, a transphobic environment may result in adverse well-being outcomes. Policy makers should aim to facilitate transitioning and create cultures of inclusion in different settings, such as schools, workplaces, health services and justice.
    Keywords: trans people, transitioning, gender reassignment surgery, mental health, life satisfaction, job satisfaction
    JEL: D91 I10 J12 J10 J28
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Richard H. Rijnks (Univesity of Groningen); Stephen Sheppard (Williams College)
    Abstract: Recent research indicates that the subjective evaluation of well-being increases when conditions of housing are improved. This suggests that subjective well-being might serve as a useful proxy for characteristics of a home or neighbourhood that are relevant to an occupant, but unobserved by the analyst. In this paper, we assess this idea through analysis of residential property valuation, using a sample of 95,413 respondents matched to house sales for 2000 to 2012 in the North of the Netherlands. Using a spatial econometric approach, we find a significant and positive association between individual and regional subjective well-being and house prices. This suggests that house buyers are willing to pay more for, or that house sellers require greater compensation to sell and move from, properties and areas in which the resident experiences greater happiness. Our study provides the first estimates of the importance of these effects.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being, house price, hedonic model
    JEL: D91 R2 R3
    Date: 2019–10–23
  3. By: Clément S. Bellet; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; George Ward
    Abstract: This article provides quasi-experimental evidence on the relationship between employee happiness and productivity in the field. We study the universe of call center sales workers at British Telecom (BT), one of the United Kingdom's largest private employers. We measure their happiness over a 6-month period using a novel weekly survey instrument, and link these reports with highly detailed administrative data on workplace behaviors and various measures of employee performance. We show that workers make around 13% more sales in weeks where they report being happy compared to weeks when they are unhappy. Exploiting exogenous variation in employee happiness arising from weather shocks local to each of the 11 call centers, we document a strong causal effect of happiness on labor productivity. These effects are driven by workers making more calls per hour, adhering more closely to their workflow schedule, and converting more calls into sales when they are happier. No effects are found in our setting of happiness on various measures of high-frequency labor supply such as attendance and break taking.
    Keywords: happiness, productivity
    JEL: D03 J24 M5 I31
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Noubissi Domguia, Edmond; POUMIE, Boker
    Abstract: Using Ordinary Least Squares, the Generalized Method of Moments and Estimate fixed-effect panel threshold model, this paper analyses the effect of environment on happiness in a panel of 30 African countries over the period 2006-2014. We find that environment quality affects happiness. The linear model shows that actually the degradation of environment increase happiness. However, the Estimate fixed-effect panel threshold model concludes that the relation between happiness and Greenhouse Gas are not a linear but quadratic. The estimation of quadratic equation revealed that this relationship takes the form of an inverted U. These results mean that in the long run environment negatively affects the happiness of people in Africa. Thus, the effect of environmental quality on happiness in Africa depends on the level of Greenhouse Gas emissions and the level of income per capita.
    Keywords: National happiness, Environment quality, Africa
    JEL: I31 O15
    Date: 2019–10–16
  5. By: Anand, Paul (The Open University); Roope, Laurence (University of Oxford); Culyer, Anthony J. (University of York); Smith, Ron P. (Birkbeck College, University of London)
    Abstract: This paper offers an approach to assessing quality-of-life, based on Sen's (1985) theory, which it uses to understand loss in quality-of-life due to mobility-impairment. Specifically, it provides a theoretical analysis which is able to account for the possibility that some functionings may increase when a person's capabilities decrease, if substitution effects are large enough. We then develop novel data consistent with our theoretical Senian framework that permits comparison of quality-of-life between those with a disability (mobility-impairment) and those without. Empirical results show that mobility impairment has widespread rather than concentrated impacts on capabilities and is associated with higher psychological costs.. We also find evidence that a small number of functionings are higher for those with a disability, as our theory allows. The paper concludes by discussing possible implications for policy and health assessment methods.
    Keywords: mobility impairment, disability, capabilities, health, Sen, extra-welfarism
    JEL: D60 I31
    Date: 2019–10

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