nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒01‒20
three papers chosen by

  1. Income Inequality and Subjective Wellbeing: Panel Data Evidence from China By Zhang, Quanda; Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa
  2. Why Some People Are Not As Happy As They Could Be: The Role of Unobservable Subjective Factors By AMENDOLA, Adalgiso; DELL'ANNO, Roberto; PARISI, Lavinia
  3. Islamic and Social Entrepreneurships for Social Justice: A Policy and Structural Framework for Social Enterprise Economics By Molla, Rafiqul Islam; Alam, Md. Mahmudul; Bashar, M. A.; Alam, A. S .A. Ferdous

  1. By: Zhang, Quanda; Awaworyi Churchill, Sefa
    Abstract: Using four waves of longitudinal data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), we examine the effects of income inequality on subjective wellbeing (SWB). We take a dual approach in measuring income inequality, and thus, we examine the effects of inequality using province-level Gini coefficient as well as between-group inequality or identity-related inequality defined as the income gap between migrants without urban household registration identity (hukou) and urban residents. We find negative effects of both province-level income inequality and between-group income inequality on SWB, measured by life satisfaction. Our results also show that the effects of income inequality on SWB is stronger for rural hukou residents compared to urban hukou residents. These findings are robust to alternative ways of measuring SWB and income inequality. In addition, we find evidence suggesting that neighbourhood trust is an important channel through which income inequality operates to reduce SWB. We suggest policies that promote trust in communities with high inequality with a view of addressing the negative effects of inequality on SWB.
    Keywords: Subjective wellbeing, Identity, Inequality, hukou, Life satisfaction, China
    JEL: D63 I31
    Date: 2019–12–11
  2. By: AMENDOLA, Adalgiso (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy); DELL'ANNO, Roberto (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy); PARISI, Lavinia (CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno - Italy)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relative importance of unobservable subjective factors (i.e., genetic, personality, cognitive traits) on happiness. We apply a residual-based approach to distinguish between the direct and indirect effects of unobservable subjective traits on happiness. We refer to the “indirect” effects as the effects of unobservable variables on happiness mediated by social, economic and family factors. We find that these “indirect” effects only explain approximately 25% of the happiness variation at the individual level, while unobserved (i.e. genetic and personality) traits may explain up to 75% of the differences in happiness. We also find that socioeconomic, demographical and institutional factors better explain the variance of happy versus unhappy people. The empirical analysis is based on the European Quality of Life Survey dataset.
    Keywords: Happiness; Unobservable traits; Subjective well-being; Unhappiness; Genes
    JEL: A12 D91 I31
    Date: 2020–01–13
  3. By: Molla, Rafiqul Islam; Alam, Md. Mahmudul (Universiti Utara Malaysia); Bashar, M. A.; Alam, A. S .A. Ferdous
    Abstract: Entrepreneurship is indispensable for progress of human civilization and effectively exploring and exploiting existing and potential resources for wellbeing of humanity. Modern economics operates basically through two major modes of entrepreneurships: the market/private sector economics relying on commercial entrepreneurships (self-interest- centric) and the state/public sector economics relying on state entrepreneurships (public-wellbeing-centric). However, both have, individually and jointly, failed to ensure economics‟ fundamental goal of wellbeing for human societies. In response, a community wellbeing-centric social enterprise economics (third sector), which features cooperatives and not-for-profit social enterprises in the name of foundations, trusts/awqāf, social businesses, and similar undertakings, has emerged as a make-up strategy to meet the minimum unmet requirements for social wellbeing. However, there is a strongly felt belief that this community wellbeing-centric social enterprise economics needs to be broadened and mainstreamed in order to include entirely charitable institutions, predominantly not-for-profit operations, and predominantly for-profit businesses but blended with provision of social welfare programs like corporate social responsibility, etc., for its emancipation as a major economic system to be able to play a leading role for ensuring desirable economic growth and development. Islamic entrepreneurship, which is basically a community-centric mode of business initiative, is closely related to social entrepreneurship. It is an antidote to the problem of intolerable economic and social dualism and a natural strategy against all forms of capitalist exploitation to control world resources, like, in the past, through European colonialism, and now, through American-led state terrorism. It is the natural guard against economic inequity, wealth concentration, and social divides. Based on its potential and using examples from Bangladesh and Malaysia, we argue that the Islamic style social entrepreneurship, which is operationally a profession for a mission, is intellectually and operationally superior and more efficient for effectively widening and mainstreaming community-centric social enterprise economics to ensure development with equity and social justice. The paper aims to put forward social enterprise economics (third sector) for dialogue and research in the context of effective functioning of modern economies ensuring community wellbeing.
    Date: 2019–02–28

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