nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2021‒03‒01
five papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Rural–Urban Differences in Subjective Well-Being for South Africa: Static and Dynamic Approaches By Mduduzi Biyase; Cephas Naanwaab
  2. Worker well-being before and during the COVID-19 restrictions: A longitudinal study in the UK By Diane Pelly; Michael Daly; Liam Delaney; Orla Doyle
  3. The true returns to the choice of occupation and education By Andrew E. Clark; Maria Cotofan; Richard Layard
  4. Gender norms, fairness and relative working hours within households By Sarah Flèche; Anthony Lepinteur; Nattavudh Powdthavee
  5. Spatial Extension of Mixed Analysis of Variance Models By Takaki Sato; Yasumasa Matsuda

  1. By: Mduduzi Biyase (College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg); Cephas Naanwaab
    Abstract: While there is a well-documented positive relationship between income and life satisfaction, little research (if any) has examined this relationship for samples split by location (rural and urban areas) in South Africa. Using panel data from five waves of National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) we track the subjective well-being of rural and urban households and estimate static and dynamic models of life satisfaction, which incorporate a range of independent variables (lagged subjective well-being, relative income and other control variables), and dependent variable (life satisfaction). Our findings reveal that, despite considerable differences between urban and rural households in terms of income, rural households report experiencing greater subjective well-being than urban households do. Furthermore, our results suggest that not only does own-income have a positive effect, comparison-income or relative income also positively affect SWB.
    Keywords: NIDS, utility, income, emotional health, static model
    JEL: D6 D3
  2. By: Diane Pelly; Michael Daly; Liam Delaney; Orla Doyle
    Abstract: The potential impact of COVID-19 restrictions on worker well-being is currently unknown. In this study we examine 15 well-being outcomes collected from 621 full-time workers assessed before (November, 2019 - February, 2020) and during (May-June, 2020) the COVID-19 pandemic. Fixed effects analyses are used to investigate how the COVID-19 restrictions and involuntary homeworking affect well-being and job performance. The majority of worker well-being measures are not adversely affected. Homeworkers feel more engaged and autonomous, experience fewer negative emotions and feel more connected to their organisations. However, these improvements come at the expense of reduced homelife satisfaction and job performance.
    Keywords: COVID-19 restrictions; Workers; Homeworking; Subjective well-being; Productivity; Mental health; Job satisfaction; Engagement
    JEL: J08 J24 I31
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Andrew E. Clark; Maria Cotofan; Richard Layard
    Abstract: Which occupations are best for wellbeing? There is a large literature on earnings differentials, but less attention has been paid to occupational differences in non-pecuniary rewards. However, information on both types of rewards is needed to understand the dispersion of wellbeing across occupations. We analyse subjective wellbeing in a large representative sample of UK workers to construct a measure of "full earnings", the sum of earnings and the value of non-pecuniary rewards, in 90 different occupations. We first find that the dispersion of earnings underestimates the extent of inequality in the labour market: the dispersion of full earnings is one-third larger than the dispersion of earnings. Equally, the gender and ethnic gaps in the labour market are larger than data on earnings alone would suggest, and the true returns to completed secondary education (though not to a degree) are underestimated by earnings differences on their own. Finally, we show that our main results are similar, and stronger, for a representative sample of US workers.
    Keywords: occupation, wages, non-pecuniary benefits, inequality
    JEL: I31 J31
    Date: 2021–02
  4. By: Sarah Flèche (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Centre for Economic Performance - LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science); Anthony Lepinteur (University of Luxembourg [Luxembourg]); Nattavudh Powdthavee (WBS - Warwick Business School - University of Warwick [Coventry], IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit - Institute of Labor Economics)
    Abstract: Using data in the United States, UK and Germany, we show that women whose working hours exceed those of their male partners report lower life satisfaction on average. By contrast, men do not report lower life satisfaction from working more hours than their female partners. An analysis of possible mechanisms shows that in couples where the woman works more hours than the man, women do not spend significantly less time doing household chores. Women with egalitarian ideologies are likely to perceive this unequal division of labour as unfair, ultimately reducing their life satisfaction.
    Keywords: gender identity,housework,life satisfaction,relative working hours,fairness
    Date: 2020–08
  5. By: Takaki Sato; Yasumasa Matsuda
    Abstract: This paper proposes a spatial extension of mixed analysis of variance models for spatial multilevel data in which individual belongs to one of spatial regions, which are called spatial error models for multilevel data (SEMM). We have introduced empirical bayes estimation methods in two steps because SEMM models which are defined by two level equations, individual and regional levels, can be regarded as a Bayesian hierarchal model. The first step estimator based on quasi-maximum likelihood estimation methods specifies the hyper parameters and has been justified in asymptotic situations, and posterior distributions for the parameters are evaluated with the hyperparameters estimated in the first step. The proposed models are applied to happiness survey data in Japan to demonstrate empirical properties.
    Date: 2021–02

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