IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The drivers of happiness inequality: Suggestions for promoting social cohesion

  • Leonardo Becchetti

    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Riccardo Massari

    (University of Rome La Sapienza)

  • Paolo Naticchioni

    (University of Cassino)

The goal of this paper is to identify and quantify the contribution of a set of covariates in affecting levels and over time changes of happiness inequality. We make use of a recent methodology that allows decomposing the overall change in happiness inequality into composition and coefficient effects of each covariate. We focus on the increase in happiness inequality observed in Germany between 1991 and 2007 in the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) database, deriving the following findings. First, trends in happiness inequality are mainly driven by composition effects, while coefficient effects are negligible. Second, among composition effects, education has an inequality-reducing impact, while changes in labour market conditions and demographic composition contribute to explain the rise in happiness inequality. Third, the increase in income inequality cannot be considered as a driver of the increase in happiness inequality. A clear cut policy implication of our paper is that policies enhancing education and labour market performance are crucial to reduce happiness inequality and the potential social tensions arising from it.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://dipse.unicas.it/files/wp201106.pdf
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche in its series Working Papers with number 2011-06.

as
in new window

Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 06 Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:css:wpaper:2011-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche Via S. Angelo Loc. Folcara 03043 Cassino (FR) - Italy
Phone: +3907762994734
Fax: +3907762994834
Web page: http://www.eco-giu.uniclam.it/Dipartimento/Info
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Nicole Fortin & Thomas Lemieux & Sergio Firpo, 2010. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," NBER Working Papers 16045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chi, Wei & Li, Bo, 2008. "Glass ceiling or sticky floor? Examining the gender earnings differential across the earnings distribution in urban China, 1987-2004," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 243-263, June.
  3. Francesco Ferrante, 2009. "Education, Aspirations and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 542-562, November.
  4. ,, 2008. "Principles of Management Accounting: The Question Book," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195986372, March.
  5. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2006. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-19, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. van Praag, Bernard M. S., 2007. "Perspectives from the Happiness Literature and the Role of New Instruments for Policy Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 2568, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Ruut Veenhoven, 2005. "Return of Inequality in Modern Society? Test by Dispersion of Life-Satisfaction Across Time and Nations," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 457-487, December.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
  9. Tomi Ovaska & Ryo Takashima, 2010. "Does a Rising Tide Lift All the Boats? Explaining the National Inequality of Happiness," Journal of Economic Issues, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 44(1), pages 205-224, March.
  10. Marshall, Alfred, 1890. "The Principles of Economics," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number marshall1890.
  11. Barsky R. & Bound J. & Charles K.K. & Lupton J.P., 2002. "Accounting for the Black-White Wealth Gap: A Nonparametric Approach," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 663-673, September.
  12. Alesina, Alberto F & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2001. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2008. "Happiness Inequality in the United States," NBER Working Papers 14220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Firpo, Sergio & Fortin, Nicole M. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2011. "Occupational Tasks and Changes in the Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 5542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Bernard M. S. van Praag, 2003. "Income Satisfaction Inequality and Its Causes," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 367, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  16. Guven, Cahit & Senik, Claudia & Stichnoth, Holger, 2012. "You can’t be happier than your wife. Happiness gaps and divorce," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 110-130.
  17. Nidardo, J. & Fortin, N. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Papers 93-94-15, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  18. Veblen, Thorstein, 2009. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199552580 edited by Banta, Martha, March.
  19. SErgio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Textos para discussão 533, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  20. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
  21. Paul Frijters & Tony Beatton, 2008. "The mystery of the U-shaped relationship between happiness and age," NCER Working Paper Series 26, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  22. Leonardo Becchetti & Riccardo Massari & Paolo Naticchioni, 2011. "The drivers of happiness inequality: Suggestions for promoting social cohesion," Working Papers 2011-06, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
  23. Dustmann, Christian & Ludsteck, Johannes & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "Revisiting the German Wage Structure," IZA Discussion Papers 2685, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  24. Paul Frijters & John P. Haisken-DeNew & Michael A. Shields, 2004. "Investigating the Patterns and Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Germany Following Reunification," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  25. Hirschman, Albert O., 1973. "The changing tolerance for income inequality in the course of economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 1(12), pages 29-36, December.
  26. Bernardo Guimaraes & Kevin D. Sheedy, 2012. "A Model of Equilibrium Institutions," CEP Discussion Papers dp1123, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  27. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  28. Indranil Dutta & James Foster, 2011. "Inequality of Happiness in US: 1972-2008," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 1110, Economics, The University of Manchester.
  29. Schirle, Tammy, 2009. "Income Inequality Among Seniors in Canada: The Role of Women's Labour Market Experience," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-68, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Dec 2009.
  30. Leonardo Becchetti, 2010. "The Money–Happiness Relationship in Transition Countries: Evidence from Albania," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 39-62, May.
  31. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 504-515, March.
  32. Bert G.M. Van Landeghem, 2008. "Human Well-Being over the Life Cycle: Longitudinal Evidence from a 20-Year Panel," LICOS Discussion Papers 21308, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  33. Shiqing Jiang & Ming Lu & Hiroshi Sato, 2008. "Happiness in the dual society of urban China:Hukou identity, horizontal inequality and heterogeneous reference," LICOS Discussion Papers 22308, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  34. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  35. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
  36. Thorstein Veblen, 1899. "Mr. Cummings's Strictures on "The Theory of the Leisure Class"," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8, pages 106.
  37. Allison, R. Andrew & Foster, James E., 2004. "Measuring health inequality using qualitative data," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 505-524, May.
  38. Dennis Petrie & Kam Ki Tang, 2008. "A Rethink on Measuring Health Inequalities Using the Gini Coefficient," Discussion Papers Series 381, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  39. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2006. "Income and happiness: Evidence, explanations and economic implications," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590436, HAL.
  40. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  41. Axel Boersch-Supan & Christina B. Wilke, 2004. "The German Public Pension System: How it Was, How it Will Be," NBER Working Papers 10525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. Carol Graham & Andrew Felton, 2006. "Inequality and happiness: Insights from Latin America," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 107-122, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:css:wpaper:2011-06. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gennaro Zezza)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.