nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒09‒21
five papers chosen by

  1. The Economics of Happiness By Nikolova, Milena; Graham, Carol
  2. Remittances and subjective well-being: A static and dynamic panel approach to single-item and multi-item measures of happiness By Mduduzi Biyase; Bianca Fisher; Marinda Pretorius
  3. Support workers in community mental health teams for older people: exploring sources of satisfaction and stress By Jasper, Rowan; Wilberforce, Mark; Abendstern, Michele; Tucker, Sue; Challis, David
  4. Parental Well-Being in Times of Covid-19 in Germany By Mathias Huebener; Sevrin Waights; C. Katharina Spiess; Nico A. Siegel; Gert G. Wagner
  5. Job Quality and Well-Being: Evidence from DR Congo By Christian Kamenga Mapurita

  1. By: Nikolova, Milena; Graham, Carol
    Abstract: Welfare and well-being have traditionally been gauged by using income and employment statistics, life expectancy, and other objective measures. The Economics of Happiness, which is based on people’s reports of how their lives are going, provides a complementary yet radically different approach to studying human well-being. Typically, subjective well-being measures include positive and negative feelings (e.g., momentary experiences of happiness or stress), life evaluations (e.g., life satisfaction), and feelings of having a life purpose. Both businesses and policymakers now increasingly make decisions and craft policies based on such measures. This chapter provides an overview of the Happiness Economics approach and outlines the promises and pitfalls of subjective well-being measures.
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Mduduzi Biyase (College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg); Bianca Fisher (College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg); Marinda Pretorius (College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg)
    Abstract: Using all five waves of the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) panel dataset, we examine the effect of domestic remittances on the static and dynamic subjective well-being (SWB) of recipient individuals in South Africa, by using a random effects ordered probit model that accounts for individual heterogeneity. Moreover, we check the robustness of our static model results by making use of an instrumental variable for migrants’ remittances. Two major empirical findings emerge from this paper: firstly, domestic remittances are consistently found to have a positive and statistically significant impact on the happiness of recipient individuals. Moreover, this finding persists in both the static and dynamic panel models. Secondly, the coefficient on lagged SWB (derived from the dynamic model) is found to be positive and statistically significant, confirming that SWB today is significantly influenced by SWB in the past.
    Keywords: remittances; subjective well-being; LSDV; ordered probit.
    JEL: D10 I31 O15
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Jasper, Rowan; Wilberforce, Mark; Abendstern, Michele; Tucker, Sue; Challis, David
    Abstract: Context: Support workers play an essential role in multidisciplinary community mental health teams for older people (CMHTsOP) in England. However, little is known about how they perceive their role or the impact this has on their levels of stress, wellbeing and job satisfaction. Objectives: To compare CMHTsOP support workers’ perceptions of the psychosocial characteristics of their work with those of registered CMHTsOP practitioners. Methods: A postal survey of CMHTsOP staff in nine mental health trusts. Information was collected about job demands, controls and support using the Job Content Questionnaire. Additional data was collected on other psychosocial features of CMHTsOP working using job satisfaction and intention-to-quit measures and a set of bespoke statements which were supplemented by a subset from the Occupational Stress Indicator. Findings: Responses were received from 43 support workers and 166 registered practitioners. Support workers reported significantly lower job demands and better co-worker support than registered practitioners. They were also significantly more satisfied with their jobs and more likely to believe that their skills and strengths were used appropriately. The majority of both groups were positive about their team’s climate and their value and identity within it. Limitations: Although the study explored the psychosocial characteristics of work that contribute to wellbeing, it did not directly measure stress. Implications: Given the growing number of CMHTsOP support workers and their diverse roles, future research might usefully explore the specific tasks which contribute most to individual satisfaction and wellbeing.
    Keywords: support workers; job satisfaction; stress; community mental health teams; older people; well-being
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2019–09–11
  4. By: Mathias Huebener; Sevrin Waights; C. Katharina Spiess; Nico A. Siegel; Gert G. Wagner
    Abstract: We examine the differential effects of Covid-19 and related restrictions on individuals with dependent children in Germany. We specifically focus on the role of school and day care center closures, which may be regarded as a “disruptive exogenous shock” to family life. We make use of a novel representative survey of parental well-being collected in May and June 2020 in Germany, when schools and day care centers were closed but while other measures had been relaxed and new infections were low. In our descriptive analysis, we compare well-being during this period with a pre-crisis period for different groups. In a difference-in-differences design, we compare the change for individuals with children to the change for individuals without children, accounting for unrelated trends as well as potential survey mode and context effects. We find that the crisis lowered the relative well-being of individuals with children, especially for individuals with young children, for women, and for persons with lower secondary schooling qualifications. Our results suggest that public policy measures taken to contain Covid-19 can have large effects on family well-being, with implications for child development and parental labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: well-being, Covid-19, corona virus, day care closures, school closures, COMPASS, SOEP
    JEL: D10 H12 H75 I20
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Christian Kamenga Mapurita
    Abstract: In the context of dualism sector-informal labour market and formal labour market, this study has assessed the impact of job quality on workerâs well-being. Using the phase 1 of the 2012 national survey data 1-2-3, the preliminary results have shown that among 1,443 of the employees, 85.44% are working in informal sector whereas 14.56% in formal sector. Given its multidimensionnal characteristics, the job quality was measured by six components such as job security, existence of union, training, employerâs support, worked hours and promotion. On other side, the well-being was measured by workerâs income and two classes-rich employee and poor employee-were created using the 2012 monetary threshold according to the place of residence. We estimated afterwards the logit model. Our results have revealed that the effect of job quality is significantly positive on workerâs well-being in both cases workers from Informal Sector and all workers irrespectively of their sector. In formal sector, the evidence of the significant impact of job quality was statistically rejected. The main explanation of this finding can be imputed to the job quality level which is already high in formal sector compared to informal sector. In view of above findings, there is a need of controlling and strengthening the job quality in informal sector for an increase in job security index by one unit, the probability that workerâs well-being increases is 0.38.
    JEL: I31 C25 C43 J01
    Date: 2020–09–08

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.