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Does the Risk of Poverty Reduce Happiness?

Author

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  • Stefano A. Caria

    () (University of Oxford)

  • Paolo Falco

    () (University of Oxford)

Abstract

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Suggested Citation

  • Stefano A. Caria & Paolo Falco, 2014. "Does the Risk of Poverty Reduce Happiness?," Development Working Papers 363, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano, revised 07 Apr 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:363
    Note: We investigate the unexplored link between the risk of poverty and happiness in the context of a developing country. Using unique longitudinal data, we estimate workers’ vulnerability to income-poverty and find a strong negative relationship between vulnerability and happiness, over and above a positive income effect. The result is robust and cannot be reduced to the effect of two-sided uncertainty. A matched behavioural experiment shows that respondents are significantly loss-averse. We conclude that downside risk is an important determinant of happiness and of economic decisions under uncertainty. Policies that mitigate downward risk may thus have direct impacts on both well-being and efficiency.
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    File URL: http://www.dagliano.unimi.it//media/WP2014_363.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. William Seitz & D La Torre, 2014. "Modelling Investment Optimization on Smallholder Farms through Multi-criteria Decision Approaches: An Example from Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    poverty; vulnerability; risk; subjective well-being; happiness; loss-aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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