nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2019‒11‒25
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Equality of opportunity in four measures of well-being By Xavier Ramos Morilla; Daniel Gerszon Mahler
  3. Wellbeing After a Managed Retreat: Observatioons from a Large New Zealand Program By Thoa Hoang; Ilan Noy
  4. Do Start-Up Subsidies for the Unemployed Affect Participants’ Well-Being? A Rigorous Look at (Un-)Intended Consequences of Labor Market Policies By Marco Caliendo; Stefan Tübbicke

  1. By: Xavier Ramos Morilla (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona); Daniel Gerszon Mahler (World Bank)
    Abstract: A growing literature has tried to measure the extent to which individuals have equal opportunities to acquire income. At the same time, policymakers have doubled down on e orts to go beyond income when designing policies to enhance well-being. We attempt to bridge these two areas by measuring the extent to which individuals have equal opportunities to achieve a high level of well-being. We use the German Socio-Economic Panel to measure well-being in four di erent ways including incomes. This makes it possible to determine if the way well-being is measured matters for identifying who the opportunity-deprived are and for tracking inequality of opportunity over time. We find that, regardless of how well-being is measured, the same people are opportunity-deprived and equality of opportunity has improved over the past 10 years. This suggests that going beyond income has little relevance if the objective is to provide equal opportunities.
    Keywords: Equality of opportunity, measurement, responsibility, e ort, well-being
    JEL: D3 D63 I31
    Date: 2018–12
  2. By: Matteo Picchio (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali - Universita' Politecnica delle Marche); Jan van Ours (Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burg)
    Abstract: We study the retirement effects on mental health using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design based on the eligibility age to the state pension in the Netherlands. We find that the mental effects are heterogeneous by gender and marital status. Retirement of partnered men positively affects mental health of both themselves and their partners. Single men retiring experience a drop in mental health. Female retirement has hardly any effect on their own mental health or the mental health of their partners. Part of the effects seem to be driven by loneliness after retirement.
    Keywords: Keywords: retirement, health, well-being, happiness, regression discontinuity design.
    JEL: H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2019–11
  3. By: Thoa Hoang; Ilan Noy
    Abstract: Managed retreat programs aim to relocate households or remove homes and other infrastructure out of harm’s way. Managed retreats are most typically considered for coastal areas or floodprone zones. In New Zealand, as elsewhere, managed retreat initiatives generate a highly polemical and emotional discussion within affected communities, and between them and the government. Given the difficult and controversial implementation of managed retreats, understanding what happens to residents who are displaced by these programmes is of immense importance. We examine the wellbeing of the people who were forced to move as part of a large managed-retreat program that was implemented in Christchurch, New Zealand, after the 2011 earthquake the city experienced. We consider three indicators for the measurement of subjective (surveyed) wellbeing: quality of life, stress, and emotional wellbeing. Our aims are: (1) to describe the wellbeing of the relocated residents after they were forced to move, and identify which factors are correlated with their well-being having already moved to new places (2) to describe the subjective experience of the residents in their communication with the government and in their relation with the community: (3) to identify the effect of economic factors (household annual income, home ownership, and financial impacts) on their wellbeing; and (4) to relate these findings to possible lessons for policy makers when designing managed retreat programs.
    Keywords: managed retreat, wellbeing, shock, relocation, climate change
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Marco Caliendo (University of Potsdam, IZA Bonn, DIW Berlin, IAB Nuremberg); Stefan Tübbicke (University of Potsdam)
    Abstract: We estimate the long-term effects of start-up subsidies (SUS) for the unemployed on subjective outcome indicators of well-being, as measured by the participants’ satisfaction in different domains. This extends previous analyses of the current German SUS program (“Gründungszuschuss”) that focused on objective outcomes – such as employment and income – and allows us to make a more complete judgment about the overall effects of SUS at the individual level. This is especially important because subsidizing the transition into self-employment may have unintended adverse effects on participants’ well-being due to its risky nature and lower social security protection, especially in the long run. Having access to linked administrative-survey data providing us with rich information on pre-treatment characteristics, we base our analysis on the conditional independence assumption and use propensity score matching to estimate causal effects within the potential outcomes framework. We find long-term positive effects on job satisfaction but negative effects on individuals’ satisfaction with their social security situation. Further findings suggest that the negative effect on satisfaction with social security may be driven by negative effects on unemployment and retirement insurance coverage. Our heterogeneity analysis reveals substantial variation in effects across gender, age groups and skill levels. The sensitivity analyses show that these findings are highly robust.
    Keywords: Start-Up Subsidies, Propensity Score Matching, Counterfactual Analysis, Well-Being
    JEL: C14 L26 H43 I31 J68
    Date: 2019–11

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