nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒05‒25
eight papers chosen by

  1. Feeling good or feeling better? By Alberto Prati; Claudia Senik
  2. Does a better protected environment enhance happiness in European countries? By Marcella D'Uva; Mariangela Bonasia; Oreste Napolitano; Elina De Simone
  3. Does retirement lead to life satisfaction? Causal evidence from fixed effect instrumental variable models By Nguyen, Ha Trong; Mitrou, Francis; Taylor, Catherine L.; Zubrick, Stephen R.
  4. When to release the lockdown: a wellbeing framework for analysing costs and benefits By Layard, Richard; Clark, Andrew E.; De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Krekel, Christian; Fancourt, Daisy; Hey, Nancy; O'Donnell, Gus
  6. The impact of micro finance and skill training intervention on single women's vulnerability in Nepal By Bista, Raghu
  7. Measurement of Vulnerability of Single Women in Nepalese Households: Query about inclusion or exclusion By Bista, Raghu
  8. Life Dissatisfaction and Anxiety in COVID-19 pandemic By de Pedraza, Pablo; Guzi, Martin; Tijdens, Kea

  1. By: Alberto Prati (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE; France); Claudia Senik (Sorbonne-University and Paris School of Economics, France)
    Abstract: Can people remember correctly their past well-being? We study three national surveys of the British, German and French population, where more than 50,000 European citizens were asked questions about their current and past life satisfaction. We uncover systematic biases in recalled subjective well-being: on average, people tend to overstate the improvement in their well-being over time and to understate their past happiness. But this aggregate figure hides a deep asymmetry: while happy people recall the evolution of their life to be better than it was, unhappy ones tend to exaggerate its worsening. It thus seems that feeling happy today implies feeling better than yesterday. These results offer an explanation of why happy people are more optimistic, perceive risks to be lower and are more open to new experiences.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, remembered utility, memory biases, intra-personal comparisons
    JEL: I31 D91
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Marcella D'Uva (University Parthenope of Naples); Mariangela Bonasia (University of Naples Parthenope); Oreste Napolitano (University Parthenope of Naples); Elina De Simone (University Parthenope of Naples)
    Abstract: The promotion of a sustainable development and the safeguard of citizens? wellbeing through the international cooperation is one of the fundamental scope of many multilateral environmental agreements. In particular, the Parties who ratified the Aarhus Convention recognized the importance of an ample environmental protection for human well-being of present and future generations. They also stated that the right of everyone is to live in an environment appropriate to their own health. Therefore, the pursuit of happiness and well-being cannot represent a secondary objective in environmental decision-making (United Nations, 2011; Tofallis, 2019). Providing that environmental factors affect human well-being (MacKerron and Mourato, 2013), an interesting question may concern the actions that policy makers can take to promote a safer environment and, as a consequence, to improve the quality of life of the citizens. The answer to this question may offer important policy implications for controlling pollution and environmental degradation that generate negative externalities. The linkage between environmental degradation and well-being has been explained as both a relational and environmental failure of market societies. The capacity to generate growth is negatively affected by mass dissatisfaction in rich societies deriving from an excessive depletion of environmental and social assets, as growth does not necessarily lead to happiness (Bartolini, 2007, p. 351). Hence, public spending on environmental protection responds to a worsening in the quality of life caused by overexploitation of natural resources and aims to restore happiness by providing a more sustainable community development. The role of public expenditure is thus to provide those goods like environmental protection and pollution abatement which, by securing a more sustainable future, may increase the citizens? well-being. The aim of our paper is to study the long-run relationship between per capita environmental protection expenditure (EPE) and happiness at the European level. To our knowledge, this link remains unexplored. We use a dynamic panel heterogeneity analysis through an autoregressive distributed lag model estimated by the dynamic fixed effect, the mean group and the pooled mean group estimators. The sample covers 19 countries in the period 1997-2016. Our results highlight the existence of a direct long-run equilibrium between happiness and environmental protection expenditure. The policy implication suggested by our findings is that government expenditure on environmental protection may not only offer a solution to market failure but, by increasing happiness, could also improve the quality of social life.
    Keywords: environmental protection expenditure; happiness; long-run relationship; dynamic fixed effect; mean group; pooled mean group
    JEL: Q58 I31 C22
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Nguyen, Ha Trong; Mitrou, Francis; Taylor, Catherine L.; Zubrick, Stephen R.
    Abstract: This paper presents robust evidence that retirement causally improves overall life satisfaction which is subsequently explained by improvements in satisfaction with one’s financial situation, free time, health, and participation in local community activities. Furthermore, while the positive wellbeing impact of retirement is sizable initially, it fades after the first 3 years. We find that the improvements in financial satisfaction upon retirement are only observed for low-income individuals. However, the wellbeing impact of retirement does not differ by gender, educational, occupational, economic or marital backgrounds. We also explore several potential explanations for our findings. This paper employs a fixed effect instrumental variable model, which exploits the discontinuity in the eligibility ages for state pension to construct an instrument for retirement, and 18 waves of high-quality Australian panel data. The results also suggest that failing to adequately account for the endogeneity of retirement would result in a downward-biased estimate of a positive wellbeing impact of retirement.
    Keywords: Retirement,Wellbeing,Life Satisfaction,Instrumental Variable,Age Threshold,Australia
    JEL: I31 J14 J26 H55
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Layard, Richard; Clark, Andrew E.; De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Krekel, Christian; Fancourt, Daisy; Hey, Nancy; O'Donnell, Gus
    Abstract: In choosing when to end the lockdown, policy-makers have to balance the impact of the decision upon incomes, unemployment, mental health, public confidence and many other factors, as well as (of course) upon the number of deaths from COVID-19. To facilitate the decision it is helpful to forecast each factor using a single metric. We use as our metric the number of Wellbeing-Years resulting from each date of ending the lockdown. This new metric makes it possible to compare the impact of each factor in a way that is relevant to all public policy decisions.
    Keywords: Covid-19; coronavirus; Wellbeing Economics; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Health Policy
    JEL: D60 D61 I31
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: BILOA, Rodrigue Gabriel
    Abstract: If well-being and poverty are considered antonyms, their understanding remains complex, because the concepts are seen differently from an anthropological, sociological and economic point of view. The objective of this article is to measure multidimensional poverty and non-monetary well-being in Cameroon. In other words, we will build a composite index of well-being in addition to a multidimensional analysis of poverty. To implement it, we will use fuzzy logic which was developed by Lotfi Zadeh in 1965 and which is formalized mathematically by the theory of fuzzy subsets. The latter appears to be an appropriate tool for specifying vague concepts such as poverty. To carry out this work, we used the third Cameroonian household survey (ECAM 3) to identify poor households. The development of the different indices was done in three stages: first, the choice of non-monetary dimensions, then the extraction of deprivation indicators and finally the aggregation of results. The main results show that the fuzzy poverty index in Cameroon is 0.6010. This means that 60.10% of Cameroonian households are structurally poor. By decomposing this index by region, stratum and sex of the head of household, the Far North region has the highest fuzzy proportion (P = 0.7367), and the two big cities of Yaoundé and Douala record high scores. Overall, rural areas have the highest proportion of poor households (0.7463), while households headed by women are more affected by the phenomenon of poverty (0.6264). However, it should be noted that the level of deprivation is higher for the drinking water supply mode (0.7657), the waste water evacuation mode (0.9501), the level of education of the chiefs of households (0.7430) and household income (0.9051). In terms of contribution to poverty, the Far North is the region that contributes the most (0.1585), followed by the Northwest (0.1452) and the West (0.1161). In terms of well-being, economic capabilities contribute the most to the well-being of households, with better scores for urban households. Consequently, the formulation of poverty reduction policies in terms of sanitation, drinking water supply, improvement of the health service etc. should be directed mainly to rural areas.
    Keywords: Fuzzy subsets, Fuzzy measures of poverty, Decomposition of poverty, Indicators of deprivation, Indicators of non-monetary well-being, Economic capabilities.
    JEL: O1
    Date: 2020–05–06
  6. By: Bista, Raghu
    Abstract: Micro finance and skill training are integrated to build empowerment model to improve socio economic level of single women in Nepal. This popular model is widely employed to improve socio economic empowerment of women, particularly single women for restore and rehabilitate their life from this psychological trauma and vulnerability. Its result is claimed positive. In this context, this paper examines whether the skill training and micro finance improves to empower single women socio economically and to reduce poverty and vulnerability and happiness of single women in Nepal through descriptive statistics and the paired “t” test. Its primary data sets are collected from the survey. The “t” test is significant that the skill training and micro finance are effective measures to empower single women socio economically and to reduce their vulnerability and then improve their self-reliant and happiness.
    Keywords: skill training, micro finance, poverty, vulnerability, happiness, single women, Nepal
    JEL: D13 D14 D22 D23 D24 D31 R2 R21 R28
    Date: 2019–10–02
  7. By: Bista, Raghu
    Abstract: Concept of single women is not issue of trauma psychologically and socio-economically in modern household and society like as in patriarchal society. However, still it is a big issue in Nepalese society as well as academic discourse and development practices, although Nepalese polity is post modernism and western character and development approach is a proactive gender balanced from top to bottom. This paper examines the relationship between single women, vulnerability level and household structure in rural society of Nepal based on primary data sets collected from household survey by using descriptive statistics. It finds the growth of single women due to the conflict of Nepal (1996-2006), the growth of foreign employment led divorces and deaths (1999-2019) and natural deaths of male and multifaceted vulnerability level of single women in nuclear and joint family. Despite the growth of financial and political independence of single women, still vulnerability is acute in Nepal. It is a barrier to single women’s happiness and empowerment.
    Keywords: single women, vulnerability, happiness, empowerment, Nepal
    JEL: D1 D13 D6 D63 I3 I31 I32 I38 Z1 Z13 Z18
    Date: 2019–11–01
  8. By: de Pedraza, Pablo; Guzi, Martin; Tijdens, Kea
    Abstract: The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, prolonged lockdowns, substantial restrictions on public life and an economic downturn negatively affect personal well-being. In this paper, we explore COVID- 19-related determinants of life dissatisfaction and feelings of anxiety using data collected from March 23 to April 30 2020 in 25 advanced and developing countries from four continents. We find that persons with better general health, with a paid job, living with a partner, daily exercising and those avoiding loneliness report less dissatisfaction and less anxiety. The presence of children and a pet in the household has no effect. Women report anxiety feelings more often than men. Older people report lower dissatisfaction and anxiety, remarkable given that the older population is among the most vulnerable in the current pandemic. Jobrelated changes due to COVID-19 such as income reduction and increase or decrease of workload are associated with more dissatisfaction and more anxiety. In reaction to the pandemic governments have adopted a range of measures. We show that restrictions on mobility and requirements to wear protective gear in public increase dissatisfaction and that the state-imposed emergency increase feelings of anxiety. We find that a growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases dissatisfaction and anxiety but that this effect levels off with a higher number of cases. Our findings support targeted government policies to preserve economic security, and increase stability of employment.
    Keywords: Covid-19,life dissatisfaction,anxiety,public policy
    JEL: I31 I38 P51 D6
    Date: 2020

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