nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2023‒04‒10
five papers chosen by

  1. Willingness to Pay for Clean Air: Evidence from the UK By Faten Saliba; Giorgio Maarraoui; Walid Marrouch; Ada Wossink
  2. Ethics and technique in welfare economics: How welfarism evolves in the making By Antoinette Baujard
  3. Supporting knowledge workers’ health and well-being in the post-lockdown era By Harkiolakis, Tatiana; Komodromos, Marcos
  4. Economics of the Community Mechanism By Masao Ogaki
  5. Global High-Resolution Estimates of the United Nations Human Development Index Using Satellite Imagery and Machine-learning By Luke Sherman; Jonathan Proctor; Hannah Druckenmiller; Heriberto Tapia; Solomon M. Hsiang

  1. By: Faten Saliba; Giorgio Maarraoui; Walid Marrouch; Ada Wossink
    Abstract: This paper uses life satisfaction data to help the design of climate mitigation policies in the United Kingdom. We assess the effects of the exposure to ambient pollutants on long-term life satisfaction and short-term mental health in the UK. We estimate augmented Cobb-Douglas utility functions using pooled and random effects ordinal logit models. Results show that increases in NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 significantly decrease the odds of longterm happiness and short-term mental health in the UK. The willingness to pay for clean air is also significant and increases with level of education. These measurements derived can be used as benchmarks for pollution abatement subsidies or pollution taxes and can help in projecting a more comprehensive assessment of costs and benefits.
    Keywords: Air Pollution; Happiness; Policy Valuation; Climate Change; Environmental Policies; Pollution Taxes; Pollution Abatement Subsidies; life satisfaction data; dataset description; air pollutant; pollutants' correlation; household data; ordinal Logit; Income; Europe; Global
    Date: 2023–02–17
  2. By: Antoinette Baujard (Université Jean Monnet, 42 023 Saint-Etienne, France. GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne (UMR CNRS 5824))
    Abstract: Under welfarism, assertions such as “this social state is better than an alternative” or “this policy should be enacted” are based on the assumption that social welfare ultimately depends only on the well-being of individuals. A normative analysis of welfarism seeks to provide a transparent description of the basis upon which welfarism makes its value judgements, which is equivalent to an investigation into its choice of a preferred notion of well-being. Such an investigation, this paper claims, can take two forms, which we should distinguish: the ethical analysis of welfarism is concerned with the appeal to a given ethical theory of well-being; and the technical analysis of welfarism concerns the specific measure of individual utility that in practice is used to measure social welfare. Reviewing a series of claims which bear on how these two versions of welfarism are articulated (the standard, proxy, evidential and tension claims), the paper explores the differences between the ethical and technical approaches in the normative interpretation of welfarist assertions.
    Keywords: Welfare Economics, Welfarism, Ethics, Practice, Ethical welfarism, Technical welfarism, Demarcation, Neutrality, Non-Neutrality, Axiological transparency, Value judgements
    JEL: B4 D6 I31
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Harkiolakis, Tatiana; Komodromos, Marcos
    Abstract: The specific problem is that knowledge workers experience high levels of stress and burnout in their professional lives, a trend that increased due to the transition to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. This integrative literature review addresses this problem by answering the following research questions: (1) How can working in the post-lockdown era allow greater well-being, job satisfaction, and job security to abide?; and (2) How can mental capital be increased in the 21st century to ensure maximum health and positive well-being in the future employment arena and on a global scale? This review contributes to the literature on worker health and wellbeing, hybrid work arrangements, and knowledge workers’ professional experiences. The findings suggest that knowledge workers can only thrive in a hybrid work environment if organizations take an empathetic approach to manage these workers and give them sufficient autonomy and flexibility in determining their work conditions, in addition to ample opportunities for social interaction and professional advancement.
    Keywords: hybrid work; job satisfaction; job security; knowledge workers; literature review; mental capital; mental health; post-lockdown era; well-being
    JEL: J50 R14 J01
    Date: 2023–02–08
  4. By: Masao Ogaki (Faculity of Economics, Keio University)
    Abstract: 1. This paper discusses the importance of the community mechanism that complements the market and power mechanisms in an economic system during an era of crisis. 2. The community mechanism is defined as a mechanism for resource allocation by which at least one person proposes voluntary cooperation, and the proposal is not rejected. 3. While this community mechanism can function alongside homo economicus in win?win situations, it can be further activated with social preferences for altruism and reciprocity and with norms or worldviews that encourage cooperation. 4. Other factors that relate to these include the character strengths that contribute to community and society known as virtues, with the concept of wellbeing related to virtues being known as eudaimonia
    Keywords: Community mechanism, Altruism, Reciprocity, Trust, Virtue, Eudaimonia
    JEL: A10 D01 D04
    Date: 2023–03–10
  5. By: Luke Sherman; Jonathan Proctor; Hannah Druckenmiller; Heriberto Tapia; Solomon M. Hsiang
    Abstract: The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) is arguably the most widely used alternative to gross domestic product for measuring national development. This is in large part due to its multidimensional nature, as it incorporates not only income, but also education and health. However, the low country-level resolution of the global HDI data released by the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Programme (N=191 countries) has limited its use at the local level. Recent efforts used labor-intensive survey data to produce HDI estimates for first-level administrative units (e.g., states/provinces). Here, we build on recent advances in machine learning and satellite imagery to develop the first global estimates of HDI for second-level administrative units (e.g., municipalities/counties, N = 61, 591) and for a global 0.1 × 0.1 degree grid (N=806, 361). To accomplish this we develop and validate a generalizable downscaling technique based on satellite imagery that allows for training and prediction with observations of arbitrary shape and size. This enables us to train a model using provincial administrative data and generate HDI estimates at the municipality and grid levels. Our results indicate that more than half of the global population was previously assigned to the incorrect HDI quintile within each country, due to aggregation bias resulting from lower resolution estimates. We also illustrate how these data can improve decision-making. We make these high resolution HDI estimates publicly available in the hope that they increase understanding of human wellbeing globally and improve the effectiveness of policies supporting sustainable development. We also make available the satellite features and software necessary to increase the spatial resolution of any other global-scale administrative data that is detectable via imagery.
    JEL: C1 C8 I32 R1
    Date: 2023–03

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