nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2020‒10‒19
four papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. The Impact of COVID-19 on Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Singapore By Cheng, Terence Chai; Kim, Seonghoon; Koh, Kanghyock
  2. Temps Dip Deeper: Temporary Employment and the Midlife Nadir in Human Well-Being By Alan Piper
  3. The Relationship between Subjective Wellbeing and Subjective Wellbeing Inequality: Taking Ordinality and Skewness Seriously. By Arthur Grimes; Stephen P. Jenkins; Florencia Tranquilli
  4. Agent Based Computational Model Aided Approach to Improvise the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) for Greater Parity in Real Scenario Assessments By Pradipta Banerjee; Subhrabrata Choudhury

  1. By: Cheng, Terence Chai (University of Adelaide); Kim, Seonghoon (Singapore Management University); Koh, Kanghyock (Korea University)
    Abstract: We provide novel evidence on how the COVID-19 global health and economic crisis is affecting overall life satisfaction and domain-specific satisfaction using data from a monthly longitudinal survey of middle-aged and older Singaporeans. Using a difference-in-differences framework, we document large declines in overall life satisfaction and domain-specific satisfaction during the COVID-19 outbreak, except satisfaction with health. These declines coincide with the introduction of a nationwide lockdown, with life satisfaction remaining below its pre-pandemic levels even after the lockdown is lifted. We also find that individuals who report a drop in household income during the COVID-19 outbreak experience a decline in overall life satisfaction almost twice as large as those who do not report any income loss.
    Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, individual-level monthly panel data, difference-in-differences
    JEL: E2 I12 I31
    Date: 2020–09
  2. By: Alan Piper
    Abstract: Temporary employees rank lower than permanent employees on various measures of mental and physical health, including well-being. In parallel, much research has shown that the relationship between age and well-being traces an approximate U-shape, with a nadir in midlife. Temporary employment may well have different associations with well-being across the lifespan, likely harming people in midlife more than at the start of their working lives. Using over twenty years of the German Socio-economic panel (SOEP), this investigation considers the relationship between temporary employment, age and well-being. In doing so, it both sheds new light on the relationship between temporary employment and well-being, and explores a reason for the oft-found U-shaped relationship between age and well-being. The results show that temporary employment deepens the U-shape in midlife, and that this result holds when many socioeconomic factors as well as the industry, region, cohort, personality, employment security and job worries are taken into account. Furthermore, the investigation considers transitions between permanent and temporary employment and uses these to assess causation and selection.
    Keywords: Temporary employment, permanent employment, age, life satisfaction, SOEP
    JEL: I31 J41
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Arthur Grimes (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Stephen P. Jenkins (London School of Economics and Political Science, and IZA); Florencia Tranquilli (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, and Victoria University of Wellington)
    Abstract: We argue that the relationship between individual satisfaction with life (SWL) and SWL inequality is more complex than described by leading earlier research such as Goff, Helliwell, and Mayraz (Economic Inquiry, 2018). Using inequality indices appropriate for ordinal data, our analysis using the World Values Survey reveals that skewness of the SWL distribution, not only inequality, matters for individual SWL outcomes; so too does whether we look upwards or downwards at the (skewed) distribution. Our results are consistent with there being negative (positive) externalities for an individual’s SWL from seeing people who are low (high) in the SWL distribution.
    Keywords: subjective wellbeing, ordinal data, inequality, skewness, WVS
    JEL: D31 D63 I31
    Date: 2020–10
  4. By: Pradipta Banerjee; Subhrabrata Choudhury
    Abstract: To design, evaluate and tune policies for all-inclusive human development, the primary requisite is to assess the true state of affairs of the society. Statistical indices like GDP, Gini Coefficients have been developed to accomplish the evaluation of the socio-economic systems. They have remained prevalent in the conventional economic theories but little do they have in the offing regarding true well-being and development of humans. Human Development Index (HDI) and thereafter Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) has been the path changing composite-index having the focus on human development. However, even though its fundamental philosophy has an all-inclusive human development focus, the composite-indices appear to be unable to grasp the actual assessment in several scenarios. This happens due to the dynamic non-linearity of social-systems where superposition principle cannot be applied between all of its inputs and outputs of the system as the system's own attributes get altered upon each input. We would discuss the apparent shortcomings and probable refinement of the existing index using an agent based computational system model approach.
    Date: 2020–10

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