nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒07‒27
three papers chosen by

  1. The cost of being too patient By Giuliano, Paola; Sapienza, Paola
  2. Subnational borders and individual well-being : Evidence from the merger of French regions By Lionel WILNER
  3. Lifetime events and the well-being of older people. By Aassve, Arnstein; Luppi, Francesca; Pronzato, Chiara; Pudney, Steve

  1. By: Giuliano, Paola; Sapienza, Paola
    Abstract: We study the cost of being too patient on happiness. We find that the relationship between patience and various measures of subjective well-being is hump-shaped: it exists an optimal amount of patience that maximizes happiness. Beyond this optimal level, higher levels of patience have a negative impact on well-being.
    Keywords: Happiness; Patience
    JEL: A10 D9 Z1
    Date: 2020–01
  2. By: Lionel WILNER (INSEE – CREST)
    Abstract: Using the 2016 merger of French regions as a natural experiment, this paper adopts a difference-in-difference identification strategy to recover its causal impact on individual subjective well-being. No depressing effect is found despite increased centralization and higher local public spending, an intended effect of the merger. Life satisfaction has even increased in regions that were absorbed from economic and political viewpoints. The empirical evidence suggests that local economic performance improved in the concerned regions, which includes a faster decline in the unemployment rate. In this setting, economic gains have likely outweighed cultural attachment to administrative regions.
    Keywords: Merger of regions, natural experiment, difference-in-difference, subjective well-being, centralization
    JEL: H75 I31
    Date: 2020–07–09
  3. By: Aassve, Arnstein; Luppi, Francesca; Pronzato, Chiara; Pudney, Steve (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships between physical health, work, family history and mental well-being of people aged 50+ years and tests whether their children’s education, family formation and work circumstances also affect their level of depression. We use data for 10 European countries from six waves of the Survey of Health Ageing Retirement in Europe, from which we can observe current circumstances, past events and changes of conditions over time for older parents and their adult children. We find strong beneficial effects of being retired and detrimental effects of bad health conditions. A problematic family of origin, as well as grief over the death of spouses or children, persists over the entire life. Regarding non-coresident adult children, we observe that having children in better working and family conditions beneficially affects parental mental well-being. Geographical variability allows testing of whether the effects vary across different cultural contexts and institutions. Important context heterogeneities emerge: unemployment is more burdensome in countries with more difficult labour market conditions, sickness is less heavy in countries with better healthcare systems and divorce is less bearable in countries characterized by more traditional family values.
    Date: 2020–02

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