nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2021‒01‒25
six papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Self-employment and subjective well-being By Binder, Martin; Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin
  2. Family Size and Subjective Well-being in Europe: Do More Children Make Us (Un)Happy? By Barbara Pertold-Gebicka; Dominika Spolcova
  3. The effect of technological behaviour and beliefs on subjective well-being: the role of technological infrastructure By Giacomo Degli Antoni; Chiara Franco
  4. Happier lives: exploring what matters By Christian Krekel; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Daisy Fancourt; Richard Layard
  5. Promoting the diffusion of technology to boost productivity and well-being in Korea By Mathilde Pak
  6. Exposure to a School Shooting and Subsequent Well-Being By Phillip B. Levine; Robin McKnight

  1. By: Binder, Martin; Blankenberg, Ann-Kathrin
    Abstract: Self-employment contributes to employment growth and innovativeness and many individuals want to become self-employed due to the autonomy and exibility it brings. Using "subjective well-being" as a broad summary measure that evaluates an individual's experience of being self-employed, the chapter discusses evidence and explanations why self-employment is positively associated with job satisfaction, even though the self-employed often earn less than their employed peers, work longer hours and experience more stress and higher job demands. Despite being more satisfied with their jobs, the self-employed do not necessarily enjoy higher overall life satisfaction, which is due to heterogeneity of types of self-employment, as well as motivational factors, work characteristics and institutional setups across countries.
    Keywords: self-employment,entrepreneurship,subjective well-being,job satisfaction,lifesatisfaction
    JEL: L26 J24 J28
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Barbara Pertold-Gebicka; Dominika Spolcova
    Abstract: We estimate the causal relationship between the number of children and parental subjective well-being using the 2013 wave of SILC data and relying on multiple births as the source of exogenous variation. The major value added of our study is estimating this effect by children’s age. We show that parents of larger families experience the same or higher levels of well-being than parents of smaller families. The positive effect is mainly driven by parents of teenage children. Among parents of pre-school children we mainly estimate a negative effect of an additional (twin) child. We further show that the negative relationship between the number of children and parental well-being at young child ages is mainly driven by dissatisfaction with accommodation and by increased frequency of feeling nervous. The positive effect at higher child ages is driven by satisfaction with financial situation only for fathers, while for mothers it is mainly driven by lower frequency of experiencing negative feelings. We conclude that higher fertility levels might be reached if parents receive more help during the early years of their children and if the positive future effects of having large families are publicized.
    Keywords: fertility; subjective well-being;
    JEL: I31 J12 J13
    Date: 2020–12
  3. By: Giacomo Degli Antoni (University of Parma); Chiara Franco (University of Pisa)
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to investigate the role of technological infrastructures in affecting the relation between technological behaviour and subjective well-being (SWB). We use the 6th wave of World Value Survey that allows us to have comparable data for 60 countries over the period 2010-2014 through which we provide our empirical contribution in light of the scarcity of studies about the linkages between innovation and SBW. By focusing on the use of internet as a means of collecting information, we show that the same technological behaviour may generate different impacts on SWB depending on the efficiency of the internet infrastructure which makes it possible. Moreover, since recent contributions highlighted a role of technological and scientific beliefs in affecting SWB, we investigate if it is related with the quality of technological infrastructure finding a positive, though not always statistically significant effect, and showing that this effect is stronger in areas with less efficient infrastructure. The focus on the relationship between technological infrastructure and SWB paves the way for policy interventions aimed at promoting a coherent development of technological access, use and beliefs.
    Keywords: Subjective well-being; Internet infrastructure; Technological behaviour; Technological beliefs
    JEL: I31 O10 O33
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Christian Krekel; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; Daisy Fancourt; Richard Layard
    Abstract: Can we teach people to live happier and more pro-social lives? Are there cost-effective and scalable interventions? And could the effects be sustained over time? Christian Krekel and colleagues have evaluated the impact of Exploring What Matters - a local community course that aims to promote mental wellbeing.
    Keywords: wellbeing, pro-social behaviour, communities, intervention, rct
    Date: 2020–11
  5. By: Mathilde Pak
    Abstract: Korea is a top player in emerging digital technologies, with an outstanding digital infrastructure and a dynamic ICT sector. The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the importance of digitalisation to contain the spread of the virus, by allowing quick testing and tracing of infected people, and spurred the development of the "untact economy". Remote access both facilitated physical distancing and mitigated the economic impact of the crisis by enabling more people to continue working. Digital technologies offer opportunities to raise firms’ productivity and the population’s well-being. However, wide productivity gaps between large firms and SMEs and between manufacturing and services weigh on economy-wide productivity, which is far below the OECD average. A wide skills gap between youth and older generations prevents an increasing share of the population from taking part in and enjoying the benefits from a digitalised economy. This paper suggests ways to narrow the digital divide by enhancing the diffusion of digital technologies among firms and among individuals. Increased participation in quality ICT education and training for students, teachers, SME workers and older people is key to address the lack of adequate skills and awareness of digital benefits or dangers (online security, cyberbullying, addiction). Promoting innovation networks between SMEs, academia and large firms through vouchers or platforms can support SMEs’ R&D and commercialisation of innovative goods and services. Waiving stringent regulations through regulatory sandboxes can help identify and alter regulations that hinder the adoption and diffusion of digital technologies.
    Keywords: COVID-19, digital divide, Korea, productivity, regulatory sandboxes, SMEs, well-being
    JEL: I31 J24 L25 L51 O3
    Date: 2021–01–21
  6. By: Phillip B. Levine; Robin McKnight
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of school shootings on the educational performance and long-term health consequences of students who survive them, highlighting the impact of indiscriminate, high-fatality incidents. Initially, we focus on test scores in the years following a shooting. We also examine whether exposure to a shooting affects chronic absenteeism, which may play a role in explaining any such effect, and school expenditures, which may counteract it. We analyze national, school-district level data and additional school-level data from Connecticut in this part of the analysis. In terms of effects on health status, we focus on its most extreme measure, mortality in the years following a shooting. In this part of the analysis, we analyze county-level data on mortality by cause. In all analyses, we treat the timing of these events as random, enabling us to identify causal effects. Our results indicate that indiscriminate, high-fatality school shootings, such as those that occurred at Sandy Hook and Columbine, have considerable adverse effects on students exposed to them. We cannot rule out substantive effects of other types of shootings with fewer or no fatalities.
    JEL: I18 I21
    Date: 2020–12

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