nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2023‒05‒15
three papers chosen by

  1. Does teacher subjective well-being influence students’ learning achievement? Evidence from public basic education in Peru By José María Rentería; Dante Solano
  2. Happiness in Old Age: The Daughter Connection By Sukontamarn, Pataporn; Asadullah, Niaz; Photphisutthiphong, Nopphawan; Nguyen, Yen Thi Hai
  3. Happy Times: Measuring Happiness Using Response Times By Shuo Liu; Nick Netzer

  1. By: José María Rentería; Dante Solano
    Abstract: We estimate the influence of teacher subjective well-being (TSWB) on the mathematics learning achievement of public-school students in Peru. Using the National Teacher Survey and the Census Student Assessment, after exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis we identify three dimensions of TSWB: i) workplace relationships, ii) working conditions, and iii) living conditions. We estimate instrumental variables and perform quantile regressions to disentangle the relationship between TSWB and students’ learning outcomes. Our results show that TSWB has an inverted U-shaped influence on test scores, suggesting the presence of the “too-much-of-a-good-thing effect”, and therefore the existence of an optimal threshold after which its effect becomes detrimental. Workplace relationships appear to be the most influential TSWB factor on students’ academic achievement.
    Keywords: Teacher subjective well-being, learning achievement
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Sukontamarn, Pataporn (Chulalongkorn University); Asadullah, Niaz (Monash University); Photphisutthiphong, Nopphawan (Chulalongkorn University); Nguyen, Yen Thi Hai (Vienna Institute of Demography)
    Abstract: Family and intergenerational relationships are becoming increasingly important as sources of support and care for the elderly population in the rapidly aging Asian societies. However, this has also raised concern over the reinforcement of cultural preferences for sons as a source of old-age security. This paper, therefore, revisits the determinants of happiness in old age by investigating the role of adult children's gender in the context of Thailand, an aging Asian country with no legacy of sex preference in fertility. We employ nationally representative data to examine the association between old-age happiness and the presence of a coresiding child. Compared with living alone, living with at least one child is found to be positively associated with older persons' happiness. However, this result is specific to daughters. Moreover, compared with older men, older women systematically benefit from a "daughter effect." Coresiding daughters with a university education and those who maintain a good relationship with their parents help explain the positive happiness effect on older persons. Coresiding daughters are shown to increase the happiness of their parents through three channels: reducing loneliness, improving self-rated health, and improving the economic conditions of older parents. Overall, the findings of our study suggest a "daughter dividend, " or access to daughters, is key to enhancing parents' happiness in Thailand. Therefore, policies that increase the human capital of girl children and enhance family solidarity are likely to have long-term intergenerational wellbeing benefits.
    Keywords: older persons, aging, son preference, Southeast Asia, Thailand, subjective well-being
    JEL: D10 I31 J13 J14
    Date: 2023–04
  3. By: Shuo Liu; Nick Netzer
    Abstract: Surveys that measure subjective states like happiness or preferences often generate discrete ordinal data. Ordered response models, which are commonly used to analyze such data, suffer from a fundamental identification problem. Their conclusions depend on unjustified assumptions about the distribution of a latent variable. In this paper, we propose using survey response times to solve that problem. Response times contain information about the distribution of the latent variable even among subjects who give the same survey response, through a chronometric effect. Using an online survey, we test and verify the existence of the chronometric effect. We then provide theoretical conditions under which group differences in happiness or other variables are detectable based on response time data without making distributional assumptions. In our survey, we find evidence supporting the assumptions of traditional ordered response models for some common survey questions but not for others.
    Keywords: surveys, ordinal data, response times, non-parametric, identification
    JEL: C14 D60 D91 I31
    Date: 2023

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