nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒01‒27
seven papers chosen by

  1. Urban land use fragmentation and human wellbeing By Bertram, Christine; Goebel, Jan; Krekel, Christian; Rehdanz, Katrin
  2. Walls of Glass: Measuring Deprivation in Social Participation By Nicolai Suppa
  3. The Effect of Parental Educational Expectations on Adolescent Subjective Well-Being and the Moderating Role of Perceived Academic Pressure: Longitudinal Evidence for China By Lu, Haiyang; Nie, Peng; Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
  4. Menstrual Health, Worker Productivity and Well-being among Female Bangladeshi Garment Workers By Kristina Czura; Andreas Menzel; Martina Miotto
  5. Work and Wellbeing: A Conceptual Proposal By Nicolai Suppa
  6. Transition welfare gaps: one closed, another to follow? By Maksym Obrizan
  7. Horizontal Inequality in Urban India: A Human Development Perspective By Paramjeet Chawla

  1. By: Bertram, Christine; Goebel, Jan; Krekel, Christian; Rehdanz, Katrin
    Abstract: We study how urban land use fragmentation affects the subjective wellbeing of city residents. Therefore, we calculate fragmentation metrics based on the European Urban Atlas for 15,000 households in the German Socio-Economic Panel. Using random and fixed effects specifications, we find that fragmentation has little impact on wellbeing when aggregating over all land use types. Looking at particular land use types, however, we find that wellbeing is positively affected by lower average degrees of soil sealing, larger shares of vegetation, and a more heterogeneous configuration of medium and low density urban fabric, especially in areas with above average population density.
    Keywords: Urban Land Use,Urban Land Use Fragmentation,Subjective Wellbeing,Life Satisfaction,Spatial Analysis,SOEP,GIS
    JEL: C23 Q51 Q57 R20
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Nicolai Suppa
    Abstract: This paper proposes a measure for deprivation in social participation, an important but so far neglected dimension of human well-being. Operationalisation and empirical implementation of the measure are conceptually guided by the capability approach. Essentially, the paper argues that deprivation in social participation can often be convincingly established by drawing on extensive non-participation in customary social activities. In doing so, the present paper synthesizes philosophical considerations, axiomatic research on poverty and deprivation, and previous empirical research on social exclusion and subjective well-being. An application using high-quality survey data for Germany supports the measure’s validity. Specifically, the results suggest, as theoretically expected, that the proposed measure is systematically different from related concepts like material deprivation and income poverty. Moreover, regression techniques reveal deprivation in social participation to reduce life satisfaction substantially, quantitatively similar to unemployment. Finally, questions like preference vs. deprivation, cross-country comparisons, and the measure’s suitability as a social indicator are discussed.
    Date: 2018–03
  3. By: Lu, Haiyang; Nie, Peng (Xi’an Jiaotong University); Sousa-Poza, Alfonso (University of Hohenheim)
    Abstract: Although the strong positive correlation between parental educational expectations (PEE) and child academic achievement is widely documented, little is known about PEE's effects on child psychological outcomes and the mechanisms through which it may work. Hence, in this paper, using nationally representative data from the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 waves of the China Education Panel Survey, we investigate PEE's causal impact on adolescent subjective well-being (SWB) and the moderating role of the academic pressures that these adolescents perceive. Even though we find robust evidence for a positive causal relation between PEE and adolescent SWB, its moderation by adolescent-perceived academic pressure is negative. In addition, the facts that the benefits of PEE are greater for female adolescents and those from immigrant, one-child, and nonpoor families suggests that it may operate on adolescent SWB through increased family resources, improved family relationships, and higher adolescent aspirations linked to higher PEE.
    Keywords: China, parental educational expectations, adolescents, subjective well-being
    JEL: I21 I30 J13
    Date: 2019–12
  4. By: Kristina Czura; Andreas Menzel; Martina Miotto
    Abstract: We conducted a randomised controlled trial (RCT) on a sample of 1,000 female garment workers in three factories in Bangladesh, offering access to free sanitary pads at work to 500 of the workers. We cross-randomised participation in information sessions for hygienic menstrual health care implemented by an experienced local NGO, and we vary the salience of commonly perceived taboos in the pad collection process. We find effects of the free pads and information sessions on self-reported pad use, but not of the taboo variations. We find effects on absenteeism and adherence to traditional restrictive and health-adverse taboos surrounding menstruation, but not on worker turnover or self-reported well-being at work. PRELIMINARY VERSION: The trial is currently being repeated between September 2019 and April 2020, with an additional 1,000 workers to reach the final targeted sample size.literature.
    Keywords: menstrual health; taboos; productivity; export manufacturing;
    JEL: O14 O15 O35 M54 J32 J81
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Nicolai Suppa
    Abstract: Labour is of utmost importance for human wellbeing. Yet a comprehensive framework that can reflect the empirical diversity of labour activities along with each activities’ manifold effects on human wellbeing is still lacking. An additional challenge for any such framework is to adequately handle fundamental moral ambiguities, which are inherent to many forms of work. This paper argues that a conceptualisation of labour within the capability approach can meet these requirements. Specifically, I argue that labour can be conceived as a characteristic-providing activity, where obtained characteristics are then transformed into functioning achievements, while accounting for both individual and societal heterogeneity. Additionally, paying adequate attention to unfreedoms experienced by agents turns out to be vital for a comprehensive account. Finally, the paper discusses policy handles, offers suggestions for particular applications, and identifies several other benefits for labour economics.
    Date: 2019–10
  6. By: Maksym Obrizan (Kyiv School of Economics)
    Abstract: Respondents from post-communist countries have been found to systematically report lower levels of happiness and self-rated health. While the first welfare gap in happiness has closed recently, the second transition gap in self-perceived gap only started to close. Specifically, this paper shows that treating all transition countries as a homogeneous group may be misleading and divides 28 transition countries into three groups. As result, in the most recent 2016 round of ‘Life in Transition’ survey, transition countries in Southern Europe are no longer different from non-transition nations in terms of their self-rated health. Although the gap in self-perceived health for transition nations in Eastern Europe is present in a basic model, it becomes less statistically and economically significant when subjective beliefs and macro-level variables are added. Countries from the former Soviet Union and Mongolia remain the only group in which respondents report 16.5−29.1% lower probability of ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ health compared to other transition and non-transition countries. Controlling for communist party membership, ideological beliefs and macro-level variables somewhat reduces the gap for the former Soviet Union and Mongolia but it remains significant in multiple robustness checks. Although the gap in self-rated health now applies to only one group of transition countries, it remains an important empirical puzzle with far-reaching implications for health policy, demand for health care and the process of transition.
    Keywords: self-rated health, transition gap, Life in Transition
    JEL: I15 N34 P41
    Date: 2020–01
  7. By: Paramjeet Chawla (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India)
    Abstract: In the current global scenario, India stands at the 130th position in the human development ranking for 2018, wherein the major challenge highlighted is that 26% of this human development remains lost due to inequality (UNDP 2018). Even though the notion of ‘vertical’ inequality remains a pertinent issue across the globe, the issue of inequality across social groups in India, arising from a historical discrimination and segregation, continues to remain a deep-seated worry for India’s overall development. The level of well-being of the individuals remains directly linked to the groups’ standard of living. The statements mentioned are also supported by evidence on social group inequalities, wherein the India Exclusion Report 2014-15 states that 59% of the Dalits are employed as labourers in Rural India, 46.5% of the Adivasis are falling in the same category, as against the overall rural population in which only 40% of the individuals are labourers. It is also important to note that, urban inequality remains the major driver for rising inequality in India, thereby requiring an in-depth understanding of inequality (India Inequality Report 2018). This paper focuses on understanding horizontal inequalities across the major social groups in India, Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and the unreserved/ general category in the urban spaces for India. The evidence for horizontal inequalities is scattered, and there remains a lack of quantification and consolidation of evidence for inequalities across social groups. This paper aims to measure horizontal inequalities with a human development perspective, for urban spaces in India utilizing the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) (Round 2), and therefore create actionable evidence for matters of gaps and linkages that remain in the capability’s achievement for all the social groups in India.
    Keywords: Horizontal Inequality, social groups, human development, capabilities approach, urban
    Date: 2019–11

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