nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2021‒06‒21
two papers chosen by

  1. How social assistance affects subjective Well-being: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan By Gassmann, Franziska; Martorano, Bruno; Waidler, Jennifer
  2. Trends and inequality in the new active ageing and well-being index of the oldest old: a case study of Sweden By Fritzell, Johan; Lennartsson, Carin; Zaidi, Asghar

  1. By: Gassmann, Franziska (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Martorano, Bruno (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); Waidler, Jennifer (UNU-MERIT, and UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of social assistance on subjective well-being looking at the case of Kyrgyzstan. For this purpose, we exploit recent changes in the design of social assistance and apply a difference in difference (DiD) method combined with an inverse probability weighting (IPW) technique. In contrast to the existing literature, we find that the receipt of social assistance benefits is associated with lower levels of subjective well-being. Our findings also reveal that participation in social assistance leads to some reduction in satisfaction regarding recipients' own economic conditions. Moreover, we find that the negative effects on subjective well-being disappear for the oldest generations, which experienced the dissolution of the Soviet Union. By contrast, the effect is negative for the youth, who grew up in a new society where needing help is ultimately the responsibility of the individual citizen. For individuals with high trust in political institutions, the negative effect of state intervention does not hold, while it persists in case of low trust in political institutions.
    Keywords: subjective well-being, social assistance, institutional trust, Soviet Union, Kyrgyz Republic
    JEL: I31 I38 P36
    Date: 2021–03–18
  2. By: Fritzell, Johan; Lennartsson, Carin; Zaidi, Asghar
    Abstract: The policy discourse on active ageing and well-being at the European level tends to have a strong focus on the experiences of the ‘young old’. In this study the focus instead is on the oldest old (75 years and older). The theoretical framework is inspired by the Active Ageing Index and the Nordic welfare research tradition. Active ageing and well-being indicators and domains of high relevance for the oldest old are used and a new Active Ageing-Well Being Index (AA-WB Index) is developed. Our aim is to go beyond averages and analyse changes over time and inequality in the AA-WB Index. The prime data is derived from two waves, 2004 and 2014, of the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD), a nationally representative sample of older people. The results show an overall improvement in most domains of the AA-WB index, especially in the indicator participation in cultural and leisure activities. The findings also show clear and consistent gender and educational inequalities. In addition, the different domains correlate, implying that inequality within a domain is aggravated by the inequality in another domain. The study highlights that measurements on active ageing and well-being should place a greater importance on the living conditions of the oldest old with a special focus on inequality.
    Keywords: active ageing; inequality; multidimensionality; oldest old; wellbeing; 2018- 01922; 2016-07206
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2021

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