nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒09‒07
five papers chosen by

  1. Are the Losers of Communism the Winners of Capitalism? The Effects of Conformism in the GDR on Transition Success By Max Deter
  2. Job Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance: Differences between Homework and Work at the Workplace of the Company By Bellmann, Lutz; Hübler, Olaf
  3. Well-Being of Parents and Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Survey By Stephen W. Patrick; Laura E. Henkhaus; Joseph S. Zickafoose; Kim Lovell; Alese Halvorson; Sarah Loch; Mia Letterie; Matthew M. Davis
  4. Gender Inequality in COVID-19 Times: Evidence from UK Prolific Participants By Oreffice, Sonia; Quintana-Domeque, Climent
  5. Fathers Matter: Intra-Household Responsibilities and Children's Wellbeing during the COVID-19 Lockdown in Italy By Mangiavacchi, Lucia; Piccoli, Luca; Pieroni, Luca

  1. By: Max Deter
    Abstract: Following the fall of the Iron Curtain it was important for the acceptance of the new economic and political system that the former Communist elites did not maintain their privileges, and that protesters, who helped to overturn the old system, improved their situation. With newly available panel data on East Germany’s socialist past, the German Democratic Republic, we analyze how former Communist elites, dissidents, and the “silent majority” were affected by the transition from socialism into today’s market-based democracy. Applying random effects models, the results reveal that the transition reduced economic outcomes for former Communist elites in terms of life satisfaction, income, and employment. The transition had a positive impact on political dissidents and victims of repression. The transition success of the “silent majority” depended on the inner support of the system, that is, low support of the GDR predicts better outcomes in capitalism. Individual preferences for economic liberalism, risk, and trust in others can partly explain selection into Communist elites and dissidents, as well as differences in outcomes of the change from socialism to capitalism for these two groups.
    Keywords: East Germany, Communist elites, political resistance, autocracy, labor market, life satisfaction
    JEL: H10 N44 P20 D31
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Bellmann, Lutz (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Hübler, Olaf (Leibniz University of Hannover)
    Abstract: Working remotely can complement and sometimes completely substitute conventional work at the workplace of the company. Until the COVID-19 crisis the share of remote workers was relatively low and empirical investigations show inconsistent results. The recent work has highlighted a dramatic shift toward working from home The objective of this contribution is to empirically analyze the relationship between working remotely and job satisfaction on the one hand, as well as between working remotely and work-life balance on the other hand, based on three waves of the German Linked Personnel Panel. Our control variables are personality traits, skills, employment and job characteristics. We present average effects and demonstrate under which conditions remote work is advantageous for employees. Work-life imbalance may be induced by job-related causes. A private life can reduce work-life balance under specific conditions, namely, if remote work takes place outside of contracted working hours and during the first phase of remote work. On average, remote work has no significant impact on work-life balance, which is conditioned by private interests. However, the termination of remote work causes a clear imbalance. In contrast, the introduction of remote work increases job satisfaction, although only temporarily. When we compare employees working from home with those who want to work at home, we find that the former are happier. If we consider remote workers only, our results reveal that job satisfaction is higher, and work-life balance is not worse under a strict contractual agreement than under a nonbinding commitment.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, effects on employees, remote work, telecommuting, work-life balance, COVID-19
    JEL: J22 J29 M54 M55
    Date: 2020–07
  3. By: Stephen W. Patrick; Laura E. Henkhaus; Joseph S. Zickafoose; Kim Lovell; Alese Halvorson; Sarah Loch; Mia Letterie; Matthew M. Davis
    Abstract: As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the US and protective measures to mitigate its impact were enacted, parents and children experienced widespread disruptions in daily life.
    Keywords: COVID-19, parents, children, well-being
  4. By: Oreffice, Sonia; Quintana-Domeque, Climent (University of Exeter)
    Abstract: We investigate gender differences across socioeconomic and wellbeing dimensions after three months of lockdown in the UK, using an online sample of approximately 1,500 respondents in Prolific, representative of the UK population with regards to age, sex and ethnicity. We find that women's mental health is worse than men's along the four metrics we collected data on, that women are more concerned about getting and spreading the virus, and that women perceive the virus as more prevalent and lethal than men do. Women are also more likely to expect a new lockdown or virus outbreak by the end of 2020, and are more pessimistic about the current and future state of the UK economy, as measured by their forecasted present and future unemployment rates. Consistent with their more pessimistic views about the economy, women choose to donate more to food banks. Women are more likely to have lost their job because of the pandemic, and working women are more likely to hold more coronavirus-risky jobs than men. We also find that between February and June 2020 women have decreased their work hours, but increased housework and childcare much more than men. These gender inequalities are not driven by differences in age, ethnicity, education, family structure, income in 2019, current employment status, place of residence or living in rural/urban areas.
    Keywords: Coronavirus, sex, inequity, wellbeing, health, employment, perceptions, donations, COVID-19
    JEL: H1 J1 J16
    Date: 2020–07
  5. By: Mangiavacchi, Lucia; Piccoli, Luca; Pieroni, Luca (University of Perugia)
    Abstract: The lockdown declared during the Spring 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak caused a reallocation of market and household work. A the same time school closures in many countries impacted on children's lives and their learning process. In Italy, schools and nurseries have been closed during three months and the incidence and quality of distant learning activities has been hetero-geneous over education levels and among schools. Using a real time survey data collected in April 2020 on children's wellbeing, and parents' market and household work, we estimate how the reallocation of intra-household responsibilities during the lock-down has affected children's use of time, their emotional status and their home learning. We find that changes in the parental division of household tasks and childcare are mostly due to the labor market restrictions imposed during the lockdown and that this reallocation increases fathers involvement in childcare and homeschooling. This positive variation in fathers involvement is accompanied by an increase in children's emotional wellbeing while the quality of children's home learning is mostly determined by distant learning activities proposed by their teachers.
    Keywords: parenting, childcare, children's education, emotional skills, COVID-19
    JEL: I21 I24 J13 J16
    Date: 2020–07

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