nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2021‒08‒09
four papers chosen by

  1. Getting warmer: fuel poverty, objective and subjective health and well-being By Davillas, Apostolos; Burlinson, Andrew; Liu, Hui-Hsuan
  2. Commentary on ‘Income and Happiness: A Philippines Context’ By Edsel L. Beja, Jr.
  3. Gauging the Market Potential for Natural Gas Among Philippine Manufacturing Firms By Majah-Leah V. Ravago; Raul V. Fabella; Karl Robert L. Jandoc; Renzi G. Frias; J. Kathleen P. Magadia
  4. Inequalities in young peoples' educational experiences and wellbeing during the Covid-19 pandemic By Jake Anders; Lindsey Macmillan; Patrick Sturgis; Gill Wyness

  1. By: Davillas, Apostolos; Burlinson, Andrew; Liu, Hui-Hsuan
    Abstract: This paper uses data from Understanding Society: the UK Household Longitudinal Study to explore the association between fuel poverty and a set of well-being outcomes: life-satisfaction, self-reported health measures and more objectively measured biomarker data. Over and above the conventional income–fuel cost indicators, we also use more proximal heating deprivation indicators. We create and draw upon a set of composite indicators that concomitantly capture (the lack of) affordability and thermal comfort. Depending on which fuel deprivation indicator is used, we find heterogeneous associations between fuel poverty and our well-being outcomes. Employing combined fuel deprivation indicators, which takes into account the income–fuel cost balance and more proximal perceptions of heating adequacy, reveals the presence of more pronounced associations with life satisfaction and fibrinogen, one of our biological health measures. The presence of these strong associations would have been less pronounced or masked when using separately each of the components of our composite fuel deprivation indicators as well as in the case of self-reported generic measures of physical health. Lifestyle and chronic health conditions plays a limited role in attenuating our results, while material deprivation partially, but not fully, attenuates our associations between fuel deprivation and well-being. These results remain robust when bounding analysis is employed to test the potential confounding role of unobservables. Our analysis suggests that composite fuel deprivation indicators may be useful energy policy instruments for uncovering the underlining mechanism via which fuel poverty may get “under the skin”.
    Keywords: Fuel poverty,biomarkers,health,well-being
    JEL: I12 I31 I32 Q4
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Edsel L. Beja, Jr. (Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University)
    Abstract: The commentary discusses five items pertinent to Palanca-Tan (2021), namely: Easterlin Paradox, Easterlin Hypothesis, happinessincome model, happiness survey question, and happy poor. The goal is to offer clarification and to help enrich the understanding of readers of Palanca-Tan.
    Keywords: Easterlin Paradox, Easterlin Hypothesis, Happiness-Income Model, Happiness Survey Question, Happy Poor
    JEL: A10 Y20
    Date: 2021–06
  3. By: Majah-Leah V. Ravago (Department of Economics, Ateneo de Manila University); Raul V. Fabella (School of Economics, University of the Philippines); Karl Robert L. Jandoc (School of Economics, University of the Philippines); Renzi G. Frias (School of Statistics, University of the Philippines); J. Kathleen P. Magadia (Gas Policy Development Project, UPSCRFI)
    Abstract: One sizable group of energy users in the Philippines is the collection of firms in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The production process among many of the firms in the SEZs includes heating, which currently uses the more expensive and less environment-friendly diesel or liquefied petroleum gas as fuel. Thus, natural gas is a potential cost-competitive and cleaner substitute for the feedstock currently used in both heating process and electricity requirements of firms in SEZs. Our objective in this study is to assess the likelihood of firms to switch to natural gas and determine the profile of power and fuel use among firms in manufacturing and agro industrial SEZs. We find that the extent of knowledge about natural gas and their production technology process are the primary determinants of the likelihood to switch. Particularly, the knowledge that natural gas is a cost-competitive alternative along with the use of heating in the production process are critical to increasing a firm’s probability of switching. Hence, energy-intensive manufacturing firms that use more expensive fuel sources such as diesel for heating are more likely to switch to natural gas. These results also help shed light on facilitating the efficient transition away from less environment-friendly fuels to relatively cleaner natural gas and renewable sources.
    Keywords: Easterlin Paradox, Easterlin Hypothesis, Happiness-Income Model, Happiness Survey Question, Happy Poor
    JEL: A10 Y20
    Date: 2021–06
  4. By: Jake Anders (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities); Lindsey Macmillan (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities); Patrick Sturgis (LSE Department of Methodology); Gill Wyness (UCL Centre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities)
    Abstract: While the health risks of Covid-19 for young people are low, they have borne a heavy cost of the pandemic through intense disruption to their education and social lives. These effects have not been experienced equally across social and demographic groups. Using data from a nationally representative survey of 4,000 young people linked to their education records, we study inequalities in young people's experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. We find particularly stark inequalities by socio-economic status, with young people from poorer families facing disadvantage on multiple fronts, particularly in their experiences of home learning, returning to school, and exam cancellations compared to more advantaged young people. Gender and ethnic inequalities were more mixed, though young females reported significantly lower wellbeing scores than males. This evidence suggests that the pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, meaning policymakers concerned with increasing equity and social mobility now face an even bigger task than before.
    Keywords: Covid-19; socio-economic status; gender; ethnicity; wellbeing; inequality.
    JEL: I24
    Date: 2021–07

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