nep-hap New Economics Papers
on Economics of Happiness
Issue of 2023‒09‒18
three papers chosen by
Viviana Di Giovinazzo, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca


  1. Were COVID and the Great Recession Well-Being Reducing? By Blanchflower, David G.; Bryson, Alex
  2. Does Capitalism Disfavor Women? Evidence from Life Satisfaction By Berggren, Niclas; Bjørnskov, Christian
  3. Extreme temperatures: Gender differences in well-being By Ignacio Belloc; J. Ignacio Giménez-Nadal; José Alberto Molina

  1. By: Blanchflower, David G. (Dartmouth College); Bryson, Alex (University College London)
    Abstract: Using micro-data on six surveys – the Gallup World Poll 2005-2023, the U.S. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1993-2022, Eurobarometer 1991-2022, the UK Covid Social Survey Panel, 2020-2022, the European Social Survey 2002-2020 and the IPSOS Happiness Survey 2018-2023 – we show individuals' reports of subjective wellbeing in Europe did decline in the Great Recession of 2008/9 and during the Covid pandemic of 2020-2021 on most measures and on four bordering countries to Ukraine after the Russian invasion in 2022. However, the movements are not large and are not apparent everywhere. We also used data from the European Commission's Business and Consumer Surveys on people's expectations of life in general, their financial situation and the economic and employment situation in the country, all of which dropped markedly in the Great Recession and during Covid, but bounced back quickly, as did firms' expectations of the economy and the labor market. Neither the annual data from the United Nation's Humasn Development Index (HDI) nor data used in the World Happiness Report from the Gallup World Poll shifted much in response to negative shocks. The HDI has been rising in the last decade or so reflecting overall improvements in economic and social wellbeing, captured in part by real earnings growth, although it fell slightly after 2020 as life expectancy dipped. This secular improvement is mirrored in life satisfaction which has been rising in the last decade. However, so too have negative affect in Europe and despair in the United States.
    Keywords: subjective wellbeing, life satisfaction, expectations, Human Development Index, Great Recession, COVID-19
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2023–07
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp16355&r=hap
  2. By: Berggren, Niclas (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Bjørnskov, Christian (Aarhus University and)
    Abstract: There is widespread concern, especially in certain feminist circles, that a market-oriented economic system, or capitalism, disfavors women. This could take many forms, such as lower wages for the same type of work, reduced career opportunities, disparities in ownership and the upholding of traditional gender roles. In all, this could influence overall life satisfaction such that capitalism confers more life satisfaction on men than on women. We test empirically whether this concern is justified. Using the epidemiological approach to rule out reverse causality, we first confirm previous findings that most areas of economic freedom (legal quality in particular, but also monetary stability, openness and regulation) are beneficial for general life satisfaction. When looking at women and men separately, we find virtually no statistically significant differences, and in the cases we do, the estimates reveal a more beneficial outcome for women. Hence, we conclude that capitalism does not seem to favor men more than women in terms of life satisfaction.
    Keywords: Economic freedom; Capitalism; Market economy; Life satisfaction; Gender; Happiness
    JEL: B52 D02 D63 F13 H11 I31 K20 K38 P16
    Date: 2023–08–28
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1471&r=hap
  3. By: Ignacio Belloc (University of Zaragoza); J. Ignacio Giménez-Nadal (University of Zaragoza); José Alberto Molina (Departamento de Análisis Económico, Universidad de Zaragoza)
    Abstract: Climate change and global warming have significant implications for people worldwide, necessitating an understanding of how extreme weather conditions affect individuals. This study investigates the relationship between individual affective well-being and extreme temperatures, using data from the American Time Use Survey's Well-Being Module for multiple years. The analysis focuses on daily variations in weather conditions at the county level in the United States. Findings reveal gender-specific outcomes, with males being more susceptible to extreme temperatures. On days with maximum temperatures exceeding 80oF, males experience higher levels of fatigue and stress, as well as reduced happiness and meaningfulness, compared to days with temperatures around 70oF. The study suggests that the negative impact on males' sleep quality may contribute to these gender disparities. Additionally, warmer states have witnessed a decline in the male population over the past four decades. These results offer valuable insights into the gender-specific, affective well-being consequences of climate change, emphasizing the need for gender-sensitive approaches in designing comprehensive strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation.
    Keywords: gender, weather conditions, extreme temperatures, well-being, time use, United States
    JEL: I31 J16 Q54
    Date: 2023–08–27
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:boc:bocoec:1060&r=hap

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