nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2021‒07‒26
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Loneliness and personal wellbeing in young people: moderating effects of individual, social and community factors By Goodfellow, Claire; Hardoon, Deborah; Inchley, Joanna; Leyland, Alastair; Qualter, Pamela; Simpson, Sharon; Long, Emily
  2. Axiomatic derivation of a between-group stratification index for ordinal health and well-being data By Paul Allanson
  3. Mis(match) and happiness in marital relationship: Importance of future planning and inquisitiveness By Mst Asma Khatun; Yu Nakamura; Koji Kotani

  1. By: Goodfellow, Claire; Hardoon, Deborah; Inchley, Joanna; Leyland, Alastair; Qualter, Pamela; Simpson, Sharon; Long, Emily
    Abstract: The aim of the current study was to assess associations between loneliness and personal wellbeing among young people. Framed by social ecological theory, the study examined demographic, social, and community factors associated with personal wellbeing and, critically, identified malleable moderators of the relationship between loneliness and personal wellbeing that could be targeted in intervention efforts. We used cross-sectional, secondary data from 965 young people (aged 16-24) from the Community Life Survey in England. Loneliness was measured using a single-item direct measure; personal wellbeing was measured through a composite measure containing items relating to happiness, life satisfaction and a sense that life is worthwhile (α = 0.88). Regression techniques were used to assess direct associations between individual, social, and community factors and personal wellbeing, and identify factors that moderate the association between loneliness and personal wellbeing. Loneliness was negatively associated with wellbeing. Frequency of chatting with neighbours and having people to provide help moderated the relationship between loneliness and personal wellbeing. Young people who were full-time students or reported good physical health had higher personal wellbeing, while being a carer was predictive of decreased wellbeing. Having people to count on was the only social variable significantly associated with personal wellbeing, while all community factors were found to be strongly associated with increased wellbeing. Our results advance the current literature by identifying that supportive social relationships and close community ties are important for reducing the negative impact of loneliness on youth wellbeing. Intervention efforts to improve wellbeing could benefit from specifically targeting these aspects of young people’s social and community lives, while acknowledging individual vulnerabilities, such as poor physical health.
    Date: 2021–07–23
  2. By: Paul Allanson
    Abstract: The paper provides an axiomatic characterisation of the Allanson (2017a) headcount stratification index, which provides a summary measure of the extent of differences between population groups that is directly applicable to ordinal or categorical outcome data on individual health status or well-being.
    Keywords: headcount stratification, health, well-being, ordinal data
    JEL: D63 I14 I31
    Date: 2020–07
  3. By: Mst Asma Khatun (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology); Yu Nakamura (Sansan, Inc, Japan); Koji Kotani (School of Economics and Management, Kochi University of Technology)
    Abstract: Having a sense of good match with the partner in a married couple shall be important to have a stable relationship and a happy life. However, little is known about the possible determinants for having such a relationship and happiness in marriage. We empirically examine (i) what induces a husband or wife to have a sense of good match, “my partner is in good match with me,†and (ii) how the husband’s and wife’s perceptions to the match or mismatch are related to his or her happiness. The questionnaire surveys were conducted in Japan and data are collected from 247 married couples. The statistical analyses reveal the following main findings. First, a husband’s inquisitiveness (intellectual curiosity and flexible cognitive ability) and a couple’s recognition to the amount of family future-planning discussion not only positively influence having a sense of good match but also contribute to individual happiness. Second, “both-match†couples who recognize “my partner is in good match with me†one another are much happier than couples who do not, and “both mismatch†couples who recognize “my partner is NOT in good match with me†one another are the unhappiest among any other type of mismatch couples. Overall, sufficient future-planning discussion and a personal attribute of curiosity & acceptance to something new and/or different are identified to be the main drivers for couples to maintain a feeling of good chemistry, enhancing individual happiness directly and indirectly through a mediator of having the sense of mis(match).
    Keywords: Mis(match), happiness, future planning, inquisitiveness, couples
    Date: 2021–07

This nep-hap issue is ©2021 by Viviana Di Giovinazzo. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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.