nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2022‒06‒20
eight papers chosen by

  1. Do Gender, Child, and Parent Characteristics Contribute to Intergenerational Subjective Well-being Mobility? Evidence from Russia during 1994-2019 By Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Abanokova, Kseniya
  2. Does income inequality change the relationship between environmental attitudes and subjective well-being? Evidence for 27 European countries By Ary Júnior
  3. "Better the devil you know": are stated preferences over health and happiness determined by how healthy and happy people are? By Matthew D. Adler; Paul Dolan; Amanda Henwood; Georgios Kavetsos
  4. Do Individuals Adapt to All Types of Housing Transitions? By Clark, Andrew E.; Diaz-Serrano, Luis
  5. Конкуренция, сотрудничество и удовлетворенность жизнью. Часть 2. Основа лидерства – коллаборативные преимущества By Polterovich, Victor
  6. Influence of Freedom of Choice on Happiness By Koohborfardhaghighi, Somayeh; Summers, Christopher R.; Heshmati, Almas; Altmann, Jörn
  7. Can money buy happiness? By Bhargava, Iti
  8. The Interplay between Organizational Structure, Culture and Employees’ Socio-Emotional Skills within Their Social Capital By Koohborfardhaghighi, Somayeh; Altmann, Jörn; Heshmati, Almas

  1. By: Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Abanokova, Kseniya
    Abstract: Measuring the intergenerational mobility of welfare provides key inputs for policies, but very few studies examine intergenerational mobility of subjective well-being (SWB), particularly in a poorer, transitional country context. We make new contributions by analyzing rich panel SWB data from Russia over the past quarter century, which address various shortcomings with traditional income data. We find that intergenerational SWB mobility-as measured by subjective wealth and life satisfaction-exists, with daughters having higher transmission of SWB from their mothers than sons. Adding other child and parent characteristics to the multivariate regression models can reduce the estimated impacts of mothers' SWB by up to 40% but does not change the gender gaps in the intergenerational transmission. Our results are robust to different model specifications and sample restrictions.
    Keywords: intergenerational mobility,life satisfaction,subjective wealth,gender,panel data,Russia
    JEL: D6 I3 J6 O1
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Ary Júnior
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of income inequality on the relationship between environmental attitudes and life satisfaction across 27 European countries. Furthermore, it assesses the influence of the European Union on their citizens’ behavior regarding the link between environmental attitudes and happiness. Using data from European Values Study, it applies an ordered probit model. The findings suggest that subjective and objective income inequality do not change the relationship between environmental attitudes and welfare, providing evidence of the “commitment effect”. The results also show similar performance of the relationship between environmental attitudes and well-being between EU-members and non-EU members.
    Date: 2022–05
  3. By: Matthew D. Adler; Paul Dolan; Amanda Henwood; Georgios Kavetsos
    Abstract: Most people want to be both happy and healthy. But which matters most when there is a trade-off between them? This paper addresses this question by asking 4,000 members of the public in the UK and the US to make various trade-offs between being happy or being physically healthy. The results suggest that these trade-offs are determined in substantial part by the respondent's own levels of happiness and health, with happier people more likely to choose happy lives and healthier people more likely to choose healthy ones: "better the devil you know, than the devil you don't". Age also plays an important role, with older people much more likely to choose being healthy over being happy. We also test for the effect of information when a randomly chosen half of the sample are reminded that it is possible to be happy without being healthy. Information matters, but much less so than who we are. These results serve to further our understanding of the aetiology of people's preferences and have important implications for policymakers who are concerned with satisfying those preferences.
    Keywords: health, subjective well-being, happiness, preferences
    Date: 2021–11–01
  4. By: Clark, Andrew E. (Paris School of Economics); Diaz-Serrano, Luis (Universitat Rovira i Virgili)
    Abstract: This paper provides one of the first tests of adaptation to the complete set of residential transitions. We use long-run SOEP panel data and consider the impact of all housing transitions, whether or not they involve a change in housing tenure or geographical movement, on both life satisfaction and housing satisfaction. Controlling for individual characteristics, some residential transitions affect life satisfaction only little, while all transitions have a significant effect on housing satisfaction. This latter is particularly large for renters who become homeowners and move geographically, and for renters who move without changing tenure status. Regarding housing satisfaction, we only uncover evidence of some adaptation for renter-renter moves. Losing homeowner status is the only transition that produces lower housing satisfaction, and here the effect seems to become even more negative over time.
    Keywords: housing, adaptation, well-being, SOEP
    JEL: D19 R21
    Date: 2022–05
  5. By: Polterovich, Victor
    Abstract: The first part of the paper showed that the group of seven European countries leading the life satisfaction index (happiness index) significantly outperformed other Western nations, including the United States, in the development of economic and political institutions. The Seven includes Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The second part examines what qualitative features of socio-economic and political mechanisms provide leadership. It is noted that attempts to explain this phenomenon by the low size of population and its homogeneity, as well as by the small area of these countries, are inadequate. The notion of collaborative advantages is introduced, understood as relatively more developed mechanisms of collaboration in the economic, social and political spheres. Based on three different classifications of types of capitalism and on an analysis of the history of countries of the Seven we show that they have reached the leading positions due to collaborative advantages. These countries are coordinated market economies, their economic systems are characterized as stakeholder capitalism, and their political systems are consensus democracies. The Seven of European Leaders carry out reforms aimed at improving collaboration mechanisms and, as a consequence, are less affected by the crisis of competitive institutions observed in Western societies. The presented results support the hypothesis that the strengthening of the role of collaboration mechanisms while reducing the importance of competitive mechanisms contributes to higher life satisfaction. The experience of the Seven is used by other developed European countries as well. The question of how our findings can be used in choosing a catching-up strategy is discussed.
    Keywords: coordinated market economies, stakeholder capitalism, consensus democracies, collaboration, Nordicization, reforms, catching-up development
    JEL: I31 O10 O52 P10 P41 P51
    Date: 2022–05–11
  6. By: Koohborfardhaghighi, Somayeh (Deloitte FAS LLP); Summers, Christopher R. (University of Missouri-St. Louis); Heshmati, Almas (Jönköping University, Sogang University); Altmann, Jörn (Seoul National University)
    Abstract: The literature on happiness shows that there are many factors that influence a person’s happiness. Extending previous studies, we investigate the role of the freedom of choice as a key contributing construct in influencing a person’s happiness. We define two hypothetical sub-constructs for the freedom of choice to fully develop a model of happiness. We name those hypothetical sub-constructs (latent variables) as volitional and non-volitional choices, each of which is measured by a variety of indicators (observed variables). The selected indicators are mainly from the social dimensions of happiness within working and living environments, which affect the quality-of-life people enjoy. We use the structural equation modeling approach to test our model. We restrict our empirical studies to four East Asian countries, which are South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China. The obtained results of this study, confirm that happiness tends to be closely related to interpersonal connectedness and individuals’ experiences within shared relationships in certain countries. Our findings open new insights on how happiness can be considered as an emerging outcome of the interplay between personal characteristics and societal interactions. Findings of this study can be applied in empowering the cognitive dimension of social capital within an organization.
    Keywords: hedonic and eudemonic approaches, freedom of choice, happiness, structural equation modelling, East Asia region, cognitive social capital
    JEL: C50 D71 E24 J24 O34
    Date: 2022–05
  7. By: Bhargava, Iti
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of unconditional transfers on an individual’s psychological well-being. Based on a randomized experiment conducted in Kenya, 50 villages in Rarieda received unconditional cash transfers. The variables of interest were consumption expenditure, spending on temptation goods, education expenses, assets and investments, and psychological well-being. Through this paper, I further examine the factors that lead to an increase in psychological well-being. According to my analysis, an unconditional cash transfer is agnostic to the initial level of well-being.
    Date: 2022–04–16
  8. By: Koohborfardhaghighi, Somayeh (Deloitte FAS LLP); Altmann, Jörn (Seoul National University); Heshmati, Almas (Jönköping University, Sogang University)
    Abstract: Organization theorists identify organizational social capital as one of the primary building blocks of a potentially powerful resource for improving organizational performance. However, little is known about the impact of the socio-emotional skills of the employees within their social capital and its relationship with other important organizational constructs such as organizational culture and structure. This study is the first to develop an integrated model which in addition to existing organizational constructs (i.e., organizational culture and structure) explicitly accounts for the influence of the social tolerance of employees (i.e., an example of socio-emotional skills within a workplace) on their happiness. In our model, the concept of employee’s socio-emotional skill cannot be measured directly. Therefore, we developed two latent hypothetical sub-constructs and we refer to them throughout this paper as social capital (i.e., which at the micro-level points to the interactions and socializations of the employees) and social tolerance (i.e., social tolerance towards others’ social status), each of which is measured by its observable indicators. We apply our model to empirical data that we collected from East Asian Social Survey (EASS) only for the year 2012. The data was available for four East Asian countries of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China. Our analysis shows that even though the skill of social tolerance is not observed to increase happiness by itself, it has been observed to show a significant impact on the level of trust among employees. Trust among colleagues also in its own turn significantly impacts the employees’ level of happiness. This finding can be applied in empowering the cognitive dimension of social capital within an organization.
    Keywords: organizational culture, organizational structure, social capital, structural equation modeling, social tolerance, happiness, Southeast Asia
    JEL: C31 D20 J29 L22 M14
    Date: 2022–05

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