nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒11‒11
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Dynamics of Individual Happiness By Lionel WILNER
  2. Quantifizierung lokaler externer Effekte fossiler Kraftwerke: eine empirische Analyse anhand von Lebenszufriedenheitsdaten By Hauke Lütkehaus
  3. The Effects of Social Media Use on the Well-Being of Users. The Wonderland of HaikuJAM By Andrén, Daniela
  4. The Well-Being of Nations: Estimating Welfare from International Migration By Lee, Sanghoon; Lee, Seung Hoon; Lin, Jeffrey

  1. By: Lionel WILNER (Insee-Crest.)
    Abstract: This paper unveils the role played by state dependence in self-assessed happiness. It estimates a dynamic nonlinear model of subjective well-being on longitudinal data, primarily from France, as well as from Australia, Germany, and the UK. Life satisfaction is found to be highly persistent over time, which static models ignore. The impact of state dependence is large in comparison with usual determinants of happiness in static models. More-over, this persistence is heterogeneous across individuals and concerns those already happy with their lives.
    Keywords: Happiness; subjective well-being; life satisfaction; dynamic model; state dependence; correlated random effects; initial condition.
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2019–08–25
  2. By: Hauke Lütkehaus
    Abstract: In the course of the energy transition, the German Commission on “Growth, Structural Change and Employment” recommended a stepwise phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation until 2038 and a partly substitution by gas-fired power plants. In this context local externalities of various types of fossil fuel-fired power plants are investigated and quantified using the life satisfaction approach. Therefore, representative panel data on individual life satisfaction of 61,822 German residents from 1994 to 2016 is analyzed on postcode level with a fixed effects regression model. This work finds type-specific positive spillover effects of natural gas and lignite power plants in adjacent post code areas. External effects of hard coal-fired power plants cannot be evidenced. These results suggest future hedonic-pricing studies to consider spillover effects. Including interviewer fixed effects in the regression reveals the necessity to account for interviewer influences in life satisfaction studies with spatial reference, especially in cases of non-random assignment of interviewers.
    Keywords: Life Satisfaction, Subjective Well-Being, Fossil Fuel Power Station, Externalities, Fixed Effects, SOEP
    JEL: C23 D62 Q48 Q51
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Andrén, Daniela (Örebro University School of Business)
    Abstract: Internet usage in general and social networking platforms (SNPs) in particular have dramatically changed the way we spend our time. A relevant question is how this change in time-use affected the well-being of people in general and younger people in particular. We answer this question by reporting, for the first time, detailed information about time-use in SNPs and the well-being of Jammers, the users of HaikuJAM (HJ), a mobile app that aims to boost emotional well-being using collaborative writing techniques. HaikuJAM is output-dependent. Our explorative analysis finds that Jammers who spent most of their SNP time in HJ have, on average, a slightly higher level of both life satisfaction and other domain satisfactions (especially satisfaction with family and friends) than the other Jammers. They also have a few sociodemographic characteristics that are statistically significant different from the other Jammers (i.e., they are slightly older and more of them work and are married). Predominant Jammers also have higher expectations about the importance of the use of HaikuJAM for their well-being and their personal development. Our results suggests that the app features attract a specific group of users who have a relatively high level of satisfaction with their life in general and with their family and friends, in particular. It is quite possible that creative individuals who might be introverts and/or are lonely are using HaikuJAM not only to write but also to connect with other individuals who like to write. Despite the fact that our analysis is largely exploratory, our results suggest a few possibilities to addresses the causality between users’ time spent in a SNP and their well-being.
    Keywords: well-being; life satisfaction; social networking platform; social media; communit; time-use; collaborative writing; poetry; haiku; HaikuJAM App; Jammers; predominant Jammers.
    JEL: A12 D60 I31
    Date: 2019–11–05
  4. By: Lee, Sanghoon (University of British Columbia); Lee, Seung Hoon (Georgia Institute of Technology); Lin, Jeffrey (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: The limitations of GDP as a measure of welfare are well known. We propose a new method of estimating the well-being of nations. Using gross bilateral international migration flows and a discrete choice model in which everyone in the world chooses a country in which to live, we estimate each country’s overall quality of life. Our estimates, by relying on revealed preference, complement previous estimates of economic well-being that consider only income or a small number of factors, or rely on structural assumptions about how these factors contribute to wellbeing.
    Keywords: International migration; quality of life; GDP
    JEL: D63 F22 I31 J61
    Date: 2019–08–27

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