nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2022‒05‒23
three papers chosen by

  1. Worker well-being and quit intentions: is measuring job satisfaction enough? By Diane Pelly
  2. E pluribus, quaedam. Gross domestic product out of a dashboard of indicators By Mattia Guerini; Fabio Vanni; Mauro Napoletano
  3. Are the supporters of socialism the losers of capitalism? Conformism in East Germany and transition success By Deter, Max; Lange, Martin

  1. By: Diane Pelly (UCD School of Economics & UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin)
    Abstract: While the links between worker well-being and quit intentions have been well researched, most studies to date rely on a very narrow conceptualisation of well-being, namely job satisfaction, thus ignoring the documented multidimensionality of subjective well-being. This paper explores whether this approach is justified. Using novel survey data, I compare the extent to which hedonic (job satisfaction and affect) and eudemonic (disengagement and basic psychological needs) well-being indicators individually and jointly explain variation in the quit intentions of 994 full-time UK workers. Well-being indicators perform well, explaining four to nine times more variation in quit intentions than wages and hours combined, with the disengagement measure performing best. I find systematic differences in the hedonic and eudemonic well-being profiles of workers who report positive quit intentions and those who do not. A composite model containing all seven well-being indicators offers the best fit, explaining 29.4% of variation in quit intentions versus 24.0% for job satisfaction on its own. My findings suggest that the standard single-item job satisfaction indicator is probably good enough for organisations who are looking for a quick and easy way to identify workers who may be most at risk of forming positive quit intentions. For organisations seeking to develop effective preventative quit strategies however, supplementing single-item job satisfaction with multifaceted well-being indicators is likely to yield valuable additional insights.
    Keywords: voluntary turnover; quit intentions; employee retention; worker well-being; experienced utility; decision utility; job satisfaction; engagement; affect
    JEL: I31 J28 J22 J26 M5
    Date: 2022–05–17
  2. By: Mattia Guerini; Fabio Vanni; Mauro Napoletano
    Abstract: Is aggregate income enough to summarize the well-being of a society? We address this long-standing question by exploiting a novel approach to study the relationship between gross domestic product (GDP) and a set of economic, social and environmental indicators for nine developed economies. By employing dimensionality reduction techniques, we quantify the share of variability stemming from a large set of different indicators that can be compressed into a univariate index. We also evaluate how well this variability can be explained if the univariate index is GDP. Our results indicate that univariate measures, and GDP among them, are doomed to fail in accounting for the variability of well-being indicators. Even if GDP would be the best linear univariate index, its quality in synthesizing information from indicators belonging to different domains is poor. Our approach provides additional support for policy makers interested in measuring the trade offs between income and other relevant socio-economic and ecological dimensions. Furthermore, it adds new quantitative evidence to the already vast literature criticizing GDP as the most prominent measure of well-being.
    Keywords: Gross domestic product; well-being indicators; data reduction techniques.
    Date: 2022–05–14
  3. By: Deter, Max; Lange, Martin
    Abstract: The empirical literature is inconclusive about whether a country's democratization has a long-lasting impact on former supporters or opponents of the bygone regime. With newly available individual-level data of former residents of the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR), we analyze how supporters and opponents of the socialist system performed within the market-based democracy after reunification. Protesters, those who helped to overthrow the socialist regime in the Peaceful Revolution show higher life satisfaction and better labor market outcomes in the new politico-economic system. Former members of the ruling socialist party and employees in state-supervised sectors become substantially less satisfied. These results do not seem to be driven by differential reactions in the post-transition period, but rather by the removal of discriminatory practices in the GDR. Additional results indicate that conformism in the GDR also explains political preferences over the almost three decades after the reunification of Germany.
    Keywords: East Germany,state socialism,transition,labor market,life satisfaction
    JEL: H10 N44 P20 D31
    Date: 2022

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