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What Affects Happiness Inequality? Evidence from Japan

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  • Yoko Niimi

    () (Asian Growth Research Institute)

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of happiness inequality in Japan using unique data from the “Preference Parameters Study” of Osaka University, a nationally representative survey conducted in Japan. By estimating Recentered Influence Function regressions, we find that household income has a negative and significant effect on happiness inequality, as found for other advanced economies, though people’s perception of their relative standing in the income spectrum also matters for the dispersion of happiness. Moreover, the regression results show that the insecurity faced by people about their jobs and life after retirement is also significantly associated with the widening of happiness inequality. Such findings are cause for grave concern given that the share of irregular jobs, which tend to be low paid and insecure, in total employment significantly increased in Japan during the Lost Two Decades and that this increasing trend has not yet been reversed.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoko Niimi, 2018. "What Affects Happiness Inequality? Evidence from Japan," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 521-543, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:19:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9835-9
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-016-9835-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jidong Yang & Kai Liu & Yiran Zhang, 2019. "Happiness Inequality in China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(8), pages 2747-2771, December.
    2. Aaro Hazak, 2017. "Fixed-term contracts – a turnoff for R&D employees," TUT Economic Research Series 35, Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology.
    3. Umakrishnan Kollamparambil, 2020. "Happiness, Happiness Inequality and Income Dynamics in South Africa," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 201-222, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Inequality; Japan; Job security; Subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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