nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒08‒31
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Trick or treat? The Brexit effect on immigrants’ wellbeing in the UK By Rienzo, Cinzia
  2. A tale of three countries: How did Covid-19 lockdown impact happiness? By Greyling, Talita; Rossouw, Stephanie; Adhikari, Tamanna
  3. Financial insecurity and subjective well-being. Europe in crossnational perspective By Maite Blázquez; Ana I. Moro Egido

  1. By: Rienzo, Cinzia
    Abstract: This paper is the first attempt to analyse the effect of the Brexit Referendum results on subjective well-being of immigrants living in the UK. Using the national representative UK Household Longitudinal Study (Understanding Society) data and adopting a difference-in-differences estimates, we define natives as control group, and different sub-groups of immigrants as treatment groups. The current analysis suggests that following the EU Referendum Results Non-EU migrants experienced an improvement in both mental health and life satisfaction relative to the UK natives. The results are robust to several robustness checks. Among others, we account for unobserved individual fixed effects and for unbalanced panel data. The results are consistent with the idea that the end of free movement for EU immigrants has alleviated the sense of discrimination and frustration felt by Non-EU immigrants results mainly of the toughened visa restrictions enforced since 2010 by the UK Government.
    Keywords: immigration,Subjective Wellbeing,Brexit
    JEL: O15 J61
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Greyling, Talita; Rossouw, Stephanie; Adhikari, Tamanna
    Abstract: Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, many governments have implemented lockdown regulations to curb the spread of the virus. Though lockdowns do minimise the physical damage of the virus, there may be substantial damage to population well-being. Using a pooled dataset, this paper analyses the causal effect of mandatory lockdown on happiness in three very diverse countries (South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia), regarding population size, economic development and well-being levels. Additionally, each country differs in terms of lockdown regulations and duration. The main idea is to determine, notwithstanding the characteristics of a country or the lockdown regulations, whether a lockdown negatively affects happiness. Secondly, we compare the effect size of the lockdown on happiness between these countries. We make use of Difference-in-Difference estimations to determine the causal effect of the lockdown and Least Squares Dummy Variable estimations to study the heterogeneity in the effect size of the lockdown by country. Our results show that, regardless of the characteristics of the country, or the type or duration of the lockdown regulations; a lockdown causes a decline in happiness. Furthermore, the negative effect differs between countries, seeming that the more stringent the stay-at-home regulations are, the greater the negative effect.
    Keywords: Happiness,Covid-19,Big data,Difference-in-Difference
    JEL: C55 I12 I31 J18
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Maite Blázquez (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid.); Ana I. Moro Egido (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.)
    Abstract: Using the EU-SILC 2008 module on over-indebtedness and financial exclusion, this paper analyses how perceived future-orientated economic insecurity alters individual subjective well-being measured as self-assessed health, once controlling for past and current financial situation in a range of European countries. Those effects differ by gender and by country. Our results also support the hypothesis suggesting that country characteristics explain a larger part of the unknown variability of individual levels of SAH than individual-household characteristics. Thus, our findings might be of help for politicians and policymakers in designing the most effective policies intended to alleviate the individual welfare costs of perceived financial insecurity provoked by upcoming business-cycle downturns, like the current COVID-19-triggered economic slowdown.
    Keywords: Financial insecurity, cross country differences, multilevel techniques.
    JEL: C29 I31
    Date: 2020–08–08

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