nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2022‒01‒17
five papers chosen by

  1. Effects of teaching practices on life satisfaction and test scores: evidence from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) By Bartolini, Stefano; O’Connor, Kelsey J.
  2. Taking the Pulse of Nations: A Biometric Measure of Well-being By David G. Blanchflower; Alex Bryson
  3. Home Alone: Widows' Well-Being and Time By Adena, Maja; Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Myck, Michal; Oczkowska, Monika
  4. Time, Income and Subjective Well-Being - 20 Years of Interdependent Multidimensional Polarization in Germany By Merz, Joachim; Scherg, Bettina
  5. Main well-being factors in tourism context : an application to active sport tourism By Laurence Graillot

  1. By: Bartolini, Stefano; O’Connor, Kelsey J.
    Abstract: Schools are ripe for policy intervention. We demonstrate that implementing different teaching practices is effective, finding a greater prevalence of group discussion used in schools positively affects students’ life satisfaction and noncognitive skills but has no impact on test scores. The benefits do not apply to girls, however, unless they attend all-girl schools. These findings are based on a sample from the 2015 PISA which includes more than 35 thousand students from approximately 1500 schools in 14 countries or regions. We perform regressions of student life satisfaction on the prevalence of group discussion and lecturing used in their school, including a battery of individual, teacher, and school controls, as well as random intercepts by school. For robustness we use instrumental variables and methods to account for school-selection. The average impact of group discussion is not small – a one standard deviation leads to an increase in life satisfaction that is about one-half of the negative association with grade repetition. On the other hand, more or less lecturing does not affect life satisfaction, noncognitive skills, nor test scores. We conclude that teaching practices – group discussion – can be used to improve student life satisfaction, thereby likely positively affecting future economic outcomes and well-being.
    Keywords: subjective well-being,teaching,teaching practices,non-cognitive skills,education,PISA,participatory teaching,vertical teaching,horizontal teaching
    JEL: I21 I31 J24
    Date: 2022
  2. By: David G. Blanchflower (Bruce V. Rauner ’78 Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755-3514. Adam Smith School of Business, University of Glasgow and NBER); Alex Bryson (Professor of Quantitative Social Science, UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL)
    Abstract: A growing literature identifies associations between subjective and biometric indicators of wellbeing. These associations, together with the ability of subjective wellbeing (SWB) metrics to predict health and behavioral outcomes, have spawned increasing interest in SWB as an important concept in its own right. However, some social scientists continue to question the usefulness of SWB metrics. We contribute to this literature in three ways. First, we introduce a biometric measure of wellbeing – pulse – which has been largely overlooked. Using nationally representative data on 165,000 individuals from the Health Survey for England (HSE) and Scottish Health Surveys (SHeS) we show that its correlates are similar in a number of ways to those for SWB, and that it is highly correlated with SWB metrics, as well as self-assessed health. Second, we examine the determinants of pulse rates in mid-life (age 42) among the 9,000 members of the National Child Development Study (NCDS), a birth cohort born in a single week in 1958 in Britain. Third, we track the impact of pulse measured in mid-life (age 42) on health and labor market outcomes at age 50 in 2008 and age 55 in 2013. The probability of working at age 55 is negatively impacted by pulse rate a decade earlier. The pulse rate has an impact over and above chronic pain measured at age 42. General health at 55 is lower the higher the pulse rate at age 42, while those with higher pulse rates at 42 also express lower life satisfaction and more pessimism about the future at age 50. Taken together, these results suggest social scientists can learn a great deal by adding pulse rates to the metrics they use when evaluating people’s wellbeing.
    Keywords: pulse; wellbeing; mental health; general health; life satisfaction; paid work; life-course; birth cohort; NCDS.
    JEL: I10 J1
    Date: 2021–12–01
  3. By: Adena, Maja (WZB - Social Science Research Center Berlin); Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Barnard College); Myck, Michal (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA); Oczkowska, Monika (Centre for Economic Analysis, CenEA)
    Abstract: Losing a partner is a life-changing experience. We draw on numerous datasets to examine differences between widowed and partnered older women and to provide a comprehensive picture of well-being in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use in widowhood, an aspect which has not been studied previously. Based on data from several European countries we trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed 'statistical twins' and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood's impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow recovery. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women from several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows' reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.
    Keywords: widowhood, well-being, social networks, time use
    JEL: I31 I19 J14
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Merz, Joachim (Leuphana University Lüneburg); Scherg, Bettina (Leuphana University Lüneburg)
    Abstract: Society drifts apart in many dimensions. Economists focus on income of the poor and rich and the distribution of income but a broader spectrum of dimensions is required to draw the picture of multiple facets of individual life. In our study of multidimensional polarization we extend the income dimension by time, a pre-requisite and fundamental resource of any individual activity. In particular, we consider genuine personal time as a pronounced source of social participation in the sense of social inclusion/exclusion and Amartya Sen's capability approach. With an interdependence approach to multidimensional polarization we allow compensation between time and income, parameters of a CES-type subjective well-being function, where a possible substitution is evaluated empirically by the German population instead of arbitrarily chosen. Beyond subjective well-being indices we propose and apply a new intensity/gap measure to multidimensional polarization, the mean minimum polarization gap 2DGAP. This polarization intensity measure provides transparency with regard to each single attribute, which is important for targeted policies, while at the same time their interdependent relations is respected. The empirical investigation of interdependent multidimensional polarization incidence and intensity uses the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) and detailed time use diary data from the three German Time Use Surveys (GTUS) 1991/92, 2001/02 and the actual 2012/13. We focus on the working individuals where the working poor requires increasing interest in the economic and social political discussion. The microeconometric two-stage selectivity corrected estimation of interdependent multidimensional risk (incidence) and intensity quantifies socio-economic factors behind. Four striking results appear: First, genuine personal leisure time additional to income is a significant subjective well-being and polarization dimension. Second, its interdependence, its compensation/substitution, evaluated by the German Society, is of economic and statistical significance. Remarkably, besides compensation regimes, there are interdependent multidimensional polarization regimes where even higher income cannot compensate time deficits. Third, interdependent multidimensional polarization incidence (headcount ratio) decreased over those 20 years in Germany, however and in particular, as shown by the new minimum 2DGAP approach, interdependent multidimensional polarization intensity increased over those 20 years in Germany. Fourth, there are different multidimensional polarization results and developments for the poverty and affluence poles and regimes, for fulltime selfemployed, employees and subsequently for further socio-economic groups. And, polarization also appears with respect to social participation.
    Keywords: 2001/02and 2012/13, two-stage Heckman estimates of polarization incidence and intensity, CES well-being function, interdependent multidimensional polarization, extended economic well-being, minimum multidimensional polarization intensity gap (2DGAP), satisfaction/happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, time and income poverty and affluence, social participation, working poor and affluent, middle class, self-employment and employees, German Time Use Surveys 1991/92, German Socio-Economic Panel
    JEL: I32 D31 J22
    Date: 2021–11
  5. By: Laurence Graillot (CREGO - Centre de Recherche en Gestion des Organisations [Dijon] - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE] - Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) - Université de Haute-Alsace (UHA) Mulhouse - Colmar - UB - Université de Bourgogne - UFC - Université de Franche-Comté - UBFC - Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté [COMUE])
    Abstract: The quest for well-being is one of the driving forces behind human behaviour, this quest being particularly observed in tourism, which is considered to be an activity that provides it. However, the causes of well-being are not yet fully understood. The aim of this article is to identify the main factors likely to contribute to the well-being experienced in a tourist environment by using the fields of positive psychology and consumer behaviour and, beyond, marketing. Firstly, the contributions of positive psychology to the analysis of well-being will be presented. Secondly, an integrating model of the well-being factors in tourism will be suggested. This model will bring together the analysis of these factors proposed by positive psychology and that of the concept of experiences carried out from the perspective of consumer behaviour. This model will be the basis for the presentation of the different factors likely to foster or hamper well-being in active sports tourism, the experiential potential of the latter being recognized. Thirdly, some managerial implications will be formulated. In conclusion, several contributions, limitations, and future research directions will be outlined.
    Abstract: La quête du bien-être représente l'un des moteurs des comportements humains, cette quête s'observant particulièrement dans le tourisme qui est considéré comme une activité qui le procure. Cependant, les causes du bien-être ne sont pas encore parfaitement appréhendées. Cet article a pour objectif d'identifier les principaux facteurs susceptibles de contribuer au bien-être vécu dans un cadre touristique en mobilisant le champ de la psychologie positive et celui du comportement du consommateur et, au-delà, du marketing. Dans un premier temps, les apports de la psychologie positive à l'analyse du bien-être seront exposés et, dans un deuxième temps, un modèle intégrateur des facteurs du bien-être dans le domaine du tourisme sera proposé. Ce modèle rapprochera l'analyse de ces facteurs offerte par la psychologie positive et celle du concept d'expériences réalisée dans la perspective du comportement du consommateur. Ce modèle fondera la présentation des différents facteurs susceptibles de favoriser ou de restreindre le bien-être dans le cadre du tourisme sportif actif, le potentiel expérientiel de ce dernier étant reconnu. Dans un troisième temps, quelques implications managériales seront formulées. En conclusion, plusieurs apports, limites et prolongements liés à la recherche seront suggérés.
    Keywords: Well-being,Hedonism,Eudaimonism,Experience,Tourism,Active sport tourism,Bien-être,Hédonisme,Eudémonisme,Expérience,Tourisme,Tourisme sportif actif
    Date: 2021

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