nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒05‒04
two papers chosen by

  1. Lock-downs, Loneliness and Life Satisfaction By Daniel S. Hamermesh
  2. Fiscal Decentralization and Life Satisfaction in Chile By Leonardo Letelier S.; José Luis Sáez Lozano

  1. By: Daniel S. Hamermesh
    Abstract: Using the 2012-13 American Time Use Survey, I find that both who people spend time with and how they spend it affect their happiness, adjusted for numerous demographic and economic variables. Satisfaction among married individuals increases most with additional time spent with spouse. Among singles, satisfaction decreases most as more time is spent alone. Assuming that lock-downs constrain married people to spend time solely with their spouses, simulations show that their happiness may have been increased compared to before the lock-downs; but sufficiently large losses of work time and income reverse this inference. Simulations demonstrate clearly that, assuming lock-downs impose solitude on singles, their happiness was reduced, reductions that are made more severe by income and work losses.
    JEL: I12 I31 J22
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Leonardo Letelier S. (Institute of Public Affairs, University of Chile); José Luis Sáez Lozano (Department of International and Spanish Economics, University of Granada)
    Abstract: This research hinges upon the relationship between fiscal decentralization (FD) and subjective well-being (SWB) in Chile. We merge data from two household surveys (2011 and 2013) in which a life satisfaction question was included, with municipal-level information. By using a FD proxy that measures the share of municipal unconditional grants on all revenues, we produce an instrumental variable to test in the context of an ordered logistic multilevel model. Our contribution is twofold. First, we find evidence that, on average, FD does affect SWB positively. Second, we find this effect to depend on the satisfaction group in which individuals belong. Evidence from this study indicates that the effect in question is non-linear and that only high SWB groups are clearly benefitted. Since this reflects different priorities across SWB groups, this paper’s evidence is a call for a more aggressive inter-municipal fiscal equalization scheme.
    Date: 2020–04

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