nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2021‒12‒06
six papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

  1. Disability and happiness: the role of accessibility By Asya Bellia
  2. The Happy Cultural Omnivore? Exploring the Relationship between Cultural Consumption Patterns and Subjective Well-Being By Bertacchini, Enrico; Bolognesi, Valentina; Venturini, Alessandra; Zotti, Roberto
  3. Resilience, Social Capital, Active Citizenship and Subjective Wellbeing: the Contribution of Generativity By Leonardo Becchetti; Gianluigi Conzo
  4. Climate change and behavior: Do environmental attitudes and perceptions impact on subjective well-being in Europe? By Ary José A. Souza-Jr.
  5. Social welfare and inequalities in Morocco: A theoretical and empirical analysis By Najib Bahmani; Mustapha Jaad
  6. The Psychological Gains from COVID-19 Vaccination: Who Benefits the Most? By Bagues, Manuel; Dimitrova, Velichka

  1. By: Asya Bellia
    Abstract: There exists a significant differential in life satisfaction between disabled and nondisabled people, to the disadvantage of the former. The present work considers both satisfaction and meaning of life (as different facets of happiness),investigating whether environmental accessibility mediates the relationship between disability and happiness. Furthermore, the effect of accessibility on the happiness of different categories of disabled is analysed. The environmental accessibility index is built using data from the 2012 Eurobameter survey on accessibility, while the rest of the variables come from the EU-SILC 2013, which includes an ad hoc module on well-being. Findings show that higher environmental accessibility narrows the happiness gap between disabled people and the rest, even after interaction terms between disability and economic status are introduced. Moreover, environmental accessibility has a greater impact on the happiness of older disabled people, while the opposite is true of disabled people in the highest income quartile.
    Keywords: Disability, Happiness, Accessibility
    JEL: H41 I14 I31
    Date: 2021–11–01
  2. By: Bertacchini, Enrico (University of Torino); Bolognesi, Valentina (ISI Foundation); Venturini, Alessandra (University of Turin); Zotti, Roberto (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This paper proposes a novel approach to explore the relationship between cultural participation and subjective well-being. While most empirical research has considered such a connection using cultural and leisure activities individually or in additive terms, drawing from the sociological literature, we adopt cultural consumption profiles emerging from the variety and intensity of engagement in different cultural activities simultaneously. Using data from the 2012 Italian Multipurpose survey on households "Aspects of daily life", we first derive categories of cultural consumers through Latent Class Analysis and investigate how heterogeneity in cultural profiles is associated with overall life satisfaction and relevant domains (health, leisure, friendship relations, job and economic conditions). The results of our empirical analysis indicate a positive relationship between cultural participation and overall life satisfaction. Still, a more complex picture arises when considering all the statistically significant differences in life and domain satisfaction across cultural consumption patterns. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the role of cultural consumption habits on individual well-being and have implications for culture-led welfare policies.
    Keywords: life satisfaction, subjective well-being, cultural consumption, cultural participation, cultural activities
    JEL: I31 Z11
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Leonardo Becchetti (DEF and CEIS, Università di Roma "Tor Vergata"); Gianluigi Conzo (Università di Roma "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: We define generativity as the combination of creativity and care for others wellbeing. Based on John Stuart Mill, Robert Kennedy and Antonio Genovesi quotes we test several research hypotheses on the available waves of the European Social Survey and find that generativity is associated positively and significantly with subjective wellbeing (under the different dimensions of life satisfaction and positive affect), resilience, interpersonal trust, active citizenship and participation to political elections. Our findings are robust across survey waves, gender, age, education splits and significant in estimates considering only individuals living in the same country. With an IV approach we provide evidence that the investigated nexus hides a direct causality link from all our the dependent variables.
    Keywords: generativity, subjective wellbeing, resilience, social capital, active citizenship.
    JEL: I31 O15 Z13
    Date: 2021–11–05
  4. By: Ary José A. Souza-Jr.
    Abstract: Do subjects’ reactions to climate change help us understand how behavior affects their well-being level? To answer, this article assesses the impact of a large set of Environmental Perceptions and Attitudes (EPA) on subjective well-being across 21 European countries, using an ordered probit model. Furthermore, it tests whether personality traits are capable to influence the relationship between EPA and well-being. The estimation uses data from the European Social Survey, along with air pollution (PM10), precipitation, waste production, and macro variables. This paper builds on Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Gowdy (2007), considering two additional groups of EPA: energy affairs and new expressions of environmental awareness. The results show that both groups have a statistically significant effect on well-being, indicating that a higher variety of EPA may influence welfare. The outcomes also indicate that personality traits partially influence the link between well-being and EPA across Europe.
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Najib Bahmani (Faculté des Sciences Juridiques Économiques et Sociales d'Agadir, Université Ibn Zohr [Agadir]); Mustapha Jaad (Faculté des Sciences Juridiques Économiques et Sociales d'Agadir, Université Ibn Zohr [Agadir])
    Abstract: Since the beginning of the twentieth century, when the concept of "Well-being" has found its new place in economics, the welfare economics, has since consisted of evaluating economic situations, and mainly, the terms of distribution. The debate that was before is only about the measurement of value and utility. Happiness, or well-being, was synonymous with anything that provides satisfaction without necessarily being "useful", yet the relativity of measuring utility was simplified by cumulative aggregation. Indeed, collective well-being represents the sum of the levels of well-being (or utility) of the individuals who make up the community considered. The useful is therefore anything that contributes to maximizing social well-being. Utilitarianism, through functions of marginal utility, has made it possible to identify the optimum of collective and social well-being. On the other hand, and according to the principle of maximization of the sum of well-being, the hypothesis of an equitable distribution of shares, in particular of income between the members of a society, requires that the marginal gain in well-being, in the allocation of resources to different individuals, ie the same everywhere. The fundamental and recapitulated matrix of utilitarianism was uttered by Jeremy Bentham: "The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the measure of just and unjust." The utilitarian doctrine was therefore crucial in the development of several theories in economic and social sciences. We cite in particular the theory of justice. The latter stipulates according to its founder John Rawls, that Men are too egocentric and selfish to determine the principles of fair and equitable distribution of wealth: they seek only to derive their own benefit. Through a theoretical base which presents the economy of well-being, and the theory of justice, our article will deal with the problem of economic inequalities and its perspectives on the attainment of social well-being, in its most extreme ideal's conditions. However, the quest to maximize individual and social well-being was also the subject of several critiques of the utilitarian approach. The cross-sectional analyzes, which we will undertake, will thus allow us to focus our gaze on other modern theories, namely general equilibrium theory, social choice theory, capability theory, and also that of social justice.
    Abstract: Depuis le début du XXème siècle, que le concept du « Bien-être » a connu sa nouvelle place en sciences économiques, l'économie du bien-être (welfare economics), consistait depuis lors, à évaluer les situations économiques, et principalement, les modalités de la répartition. Le débat qui était avant ne porte que sur la mesure de la valeur et de l'utilité. Le bonheur, ou le bien-être était synonyme de tout ce qui procure une satisfaction sans être nécessairement « utile », cependant la relativité de mesure de l'utilité, était simplifiée par une agrégation cumulative. En effet le bien-être collectif représente la somme des niveaux de bien-être (ou d'utilité) des individus qui composent la collectivité considérée. L'utile est donc tout ce qui contribue à maximiser le bien-être social. L'utilitarisme, à travers des fonctions d'utilité marginale, a permis d'identifier l'optimum du bien-être collectif et social. En revanche, et selon le principe de maximisation de la somme du bien-être, l'hypothèse d'une distribution de parts équitables notamment des revenus entre les membres d'une société, exige que le gain marginal en bien-être, dans l'affectation des ressources aux différents individus, soit partout le même. La matrice fondamentale et récapitulative de l'utilitarisme était prononcée par Jeremy Bentham : « Le plus grand bonheur du plus grand nombre est la mesure du juste et de l'injuste ». La doctrine utilitariste était donc cruciale dans le développement de plusieurs théories en sciences économiques et sociales. On cite notamment la théorie de la justice. Cette dernière stipule selon son fondateur John Rawls, que les Hommes sont trop égocentriques et égoïstes pour déterminer des principes de répartition des richesses justes et équitables : ils cherchent uniquement à tirer leur propre bénéfice. À travers, un soubassement théorique qui présente l'économie du bien-être, et la théorie de la justice, notre article traitera, la problématique des inégalités économiques et ses perspectives sur l'atteinte du bien-être social, sous ses états les plus idéaux. Or, la recherche à maximiser le bien-être individuel et social, faisait aussi l'objet de plusieurs critiques de l'approche utilitariste. Les analyses transversales, que nous entamerons-nous permettront ainsi de focaliser le regard sur les autres théories modernes à savoir la théorie de l'équilibre général, la théorie du choix social, la théorie des capabilités, et aussi celle de la justice sociale.
    Keywords: social welfare,well-being,social justice,Inequalities,Justice sociale,Inégalités,P36,P46,H75,D63,social welfare. JEL Classification: I31,sociales et juridiques Inequalities,Bien-être social,Faculté des sciences économiques,bien-être
    Date: 2021–10–01
  6. By: Bagues, Manuel (University of Warwick); Dimitrova, Velichka (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: We quantify the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on psychological well-being using information from a large-scale panel survey representative of the UK population. Exploiting exogenous variation in the timing of vaccinations, we find that vaccination increases psychological well-being by 0.12 standard deviation, compensating for around one half of the overall decrease caused by the pandemic. This effect persists for at least two months, and it is associated with a decrease in the perceived likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and higher engagement in social activities. The improvement is 1.5 times larger for mentally distressed individuals, supporting the prioritization of this group in vaccination roll-outs.
    Keywords: psychological well-being, COVID-19, vaccination
    JEL: I18 I31
    Date: 2021–11

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.