February 27, 2023

Explaining Happiness Trends in Europe

By: Easterlin, Richard A. (University of Southern California); O’Connor, Kelsey J. (STATEC Research – National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies)

In Europe differences among countries in the overall change in happiness since the early 1980s have been due chiefly to the generosity of welfare state programs— increasing happiness going with increasing generosity and declining happiness with declining generosity. This is the principal conclusion from a time series study of ten Northern, Western, and Southern European countries with the requisite data. In the present study cross-section analysis of recent data gives a misleading impression that economic growth, social capital, and / or quality of the environment are driving happiness trends, but in the long-term time-series data these variables have no relation to happiness. Significance: Over the past five decades happiness has emerged as a subject of social science research and a potential goal of public policy. But how can a country’s happiness be increased? On this, there is a conflict between a number of policy alternatives – promote economic growth, increase social capital, improve the environment, expand welfare state programs. Each of these has point-of-time (cross-section) evidence supporting its claim, but there are very few long-term time-series studies. This article presents newly available time-series evidence that supports the importance of welfare state policies.

Keywords: economic growth, happiness, life satisfaction, subjective well-being, long-term, welfare programs, social capital, trust, quality of environment, cross section, time series, Europe, Easterlin Paradox

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:iza:izadps:dp15904&r=ltv


February 27, 2023

The Adventure of Running Experiments with Teenagers

By: Antonio Alfonso-Costillo (Universidad Loyola); Pablo Brañas-Garza (Universidad Loyola); Diego Jorrat (Universidad Loyola); Pablo Lomas (Universidad Loyola); Benjamin Prissé (Universidad Loyola); Mónica Vasco (Universidad Loyola)

Economists are increasingly interested in how to conduct experiments with teenagers. This paper evaluates whether different methodological factors impact the answers of teenagers to standard experimental tasks on measuring time preferences, risk preferences, cognitive abilities and financial abilities, among others. Results show: i) the recruitment process matters depending on whether the school includes the experiment as an institutional activity or the teachers led the process particularly for their class; the dropout rate reduced significantly from the first to the third experimental wave, when the school was responsible for organizingthe experiment; ii) hypothetical payments elicits similar results than monetary payments; iii) adding visual elements to the experiment’s interface improves the quality of answers; and iv) the type of electronic device on which subjects answer the tasks does not influence results, while administrating the experiment by school teachers does affect the answers. We conclude by giving three suggestions to researchers interested in conducting experiments with teenagers: first, run the experiment as a school-programmed activity; second, it is not necessary the use of real payments which increases the cost and complicates the recruitment; and third, integratevisual components to the task

Keywords: developmental decision-making; field experiments; economic preferences; teenagers

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aoz:wpaper:214&r=ltv

February 27, 2023

Persecution and Escape

By: Sascha O. Becker (Monash University and University of Warwick); Volker Lindenthal (LMU Munich); Sharun Mukand (University of Warwick); Fabian Waldinger (LMU Munich)

We study the role of professional networks in facilitating emigration of Jewish academics dismissed from their positions by the Nazi government. We use individual-level exogenous variation in the timing of dismissals to estimate causal effects. Academics with more ties to early émigrés (emigrated 1933-1934) were more likely to emigrate. Early émigrés functioned as “bridging nodes” that facilitated emigration to their own destination. We also provide evidence of decay in social ties over time and show that professional networks transmit information that is not publicly observable. Finally, we study the relative importance of three types (family, community, professional) of social networks.

Keywords: professional networks; high-skilled emigration; Nazi Germany; Jewish academics; universities;

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rco:dpaper:370&r=ltv

February 27, 2023

Home alone: Widows’ Well-Being and Time

By: Maja Adena (WZB Berlin); Daniel Hamermesh (University of Texas at Austin); Michal Myck (Centre for Economic Analysis); Monika Oczkowska (Centre for Economic Analysis)

Using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE, 2004-17) and time diaries from Poland (2013), the U.S. (2006-16), the U.K. (2014-15) and France (2009-10), we examine differences between widowed and partnered older women in well-being and its development in widowhood. Most importantly, our analysis accounts for time use, an aspect which has not been studied previously. We trace the evolution of well-being of women who become widowed by comparing them with their matched non-widowed ‘statistical twins’ and examine the role of an exceptionally broad set of potential moderators of widowhood’s impact on well-being. We confirm a dramatic decrease in mental health and life satisfaction after the loss of partner, followed by a slow partial recovery over a five-year period. An extensive set of controls recorded prior to widowhood, including detailed family ties and social networks, provides little help in explaining the deterioration in well-being. Unique data from time-diaries kept by older women in several European countries and the U.S. tell us why: the key factor behind widows’ reduced well-being is increased time spent alone.

Keywords: widowhood; well-being; social networks; time use;

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:rco:dpaper:371&r=ltv

February 27, 2023

Gender Gaps and Family Policies in Latin America

By: Estefanía Galván (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Cecilia Parada (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía); Martina Querejeta (Universidad de la República (Uruguay)); Soledad Salvador (Centro Interdisciplinario de Estudios sobre el Desarrollo, Uruguay)

Gender equality in the labor market remains a difficult challenge in Latin America and recent literature shows that child penalties play an important role in explaining these gaps. While policies to address gaps related to parenthood were introduced in recent decades, evidence of its effects is still scarce. This paper presents comparable evidence on the adoption of family legislation in 15 Latin American countries and discusses its relationship with the evolution of the gender labor gaps and the prevailing gender norms. We document that from 2000 to 2019 almost all countries increased the weeks covered by family leaves. Following a similar approach to that of Olivetti and Petrongolo (2017), exploiting the variations over time and controlling for country and year-fixed effects, we find that the extension of maternity and paternity leaves has a positive effect on female employment and contributes to reduce employment gaps, in particular in those countries which departed from a worse situation in terms of family policies coverage and which have more traditional perceptions of gender roles. On the other hand, our results suggest that in countries with more gender egalitarian perceptions, the extension of family leaves contributes to reduce the income gaps.

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-13-22&r=lam