nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Gross National Happiness and Macroeconomic Indicators in the Kingdom of Bhutan By Sriram Balasubramanian; Paul Cashin
  2. The Mental Health Effects of Retirement By Picchio, Matteo; van Ours, Jan C.
  3. COVID-19 and Mental Health Deterioration among BAME Groups in the UK By Eugenio Proto; Climent Quintana-Domeque

  1. By: Sriram Balasubramanian; Paul Cashin
    Abstract: This paper examines the origins and use of the concept of Gross National Happiness (or subjective well-being) in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and the relationship between measured well-being and macroeconomic indicators. While there are only a few national surveys of Gross National Happiness in Bhutan, the concept has been used to guide public policymaking for the country’s various Five-Year Plans. Consistent with the Easterlin Paradox, available evidence indicates that Bhutan’s rapid increase in national income is only weakly associated with increases in measured levels of well-being. It will be important for Bhutan to undertake more frequent Gross National Happiness surveys and evaluations, to better build evidence for comovement of well-being and macroeconomic concepts such as real national income.
    Keywords: Gross domestic product;National income;Health;Population;Economic systems;Economic growth;Economic models;International financial markets;real income,gross national happiness,Equity,Justice,Inequality,and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement,General,real GDP,government of Bhutan,FYP,macroeconomic indicator
    Date: 2019–01–17
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:imf:imfwpa:2019/015&r=all
  2. By: Picchio, Matteo; van Ours, Jan C.
    Abstract: We study the retirement effects on mental health using a fuzzy regression discontinuity design based on the eligibility age to the state pension in the Netherlands. We find that the mental effects are heterogeneous by gender and marital status. Retirement of partnered men positively affects mental health of both themselves and their partners. Single men retiring experience a drop in mental health. Female retirement has hardly any effect on their own mental health or the mental health of their partners. Part of the effects seem to be driven by loneliness after retirement.
    Keywords: Happiness; health; regression dicontinuity; retirement; Well-being
    JEL: H55 J14 J26
    Date: 2019–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:14135&r=all
  3. By: Eugenio Proto; Climent Quintana-Domeque
    Abstract: We use the UK Household Longitudinal Study and compare pre- (2017-2019) and post-COVID-19 data (April 2020) for the same group of individuals to assess and quantify changes in mental health among ethnic groups in the UK. We confirm the previously documented average deterioration in mental health for the whole sample of individuals interviewed pre- and post-COVID-19, and uncover four new facts. First, ethnicity predicts mental health deterioration when interacted with gender. Among men, BAME individuals experience a higher deterioration in mental health compared to British White individuals. However, among women, the deterioration in mental health is similar for both BAME and British White individuals. Second, the gender gap in mental health deterioration is only present among British White individuals and not among BAME individuals. Third, the drop in mental health among women and BAME men is very similar. Finally, there is substantial heterogeneity across BAME groups. The BAME group of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani appears to be driving the difference in the gender gap in mental health deterioration between British White and BAME individuals. We call for additional research on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across different ethnic groups, and urge both policy makers and researchers to allocate resources to collect larger sample sizes of minority ethnic groups.
    Keywords: GHQ-12, wellbeing, mental health, mental distress, ethnicity, gender
    JEL: I10 J10 J15
    Date: 2020
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ces:ceswps:_8449&r=all

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