International Journal of Happiness and Development (9 papers in press)
The Impacts of Increasing Leisure Time on Subjective Health and Life Satisfaction
by Yen-Lien Kuo, Tzu-Hsiu Huang
Abstract: This paper investigated the relationships between working hours, the change of time spent in leisure and sports activities, perceived health status, and individual life satisfaction. Data from the 2013 Taiwan Social Change Survey is employed in this study. The results show that more working hours significantly lower life satisfaction. Increasing leisure time can significantly improve subjective health, and better subjective health can significantly enhance life satisfaction. Furthermore, subjective health partially mediates the effect of leisure time on life satisfaction. However, the mediating effect does not exist for full-time employees although increasing leisure time can still improve life satisfaction. The reason for this could be that the subjective health of full-time employees is already better than that of those not working full-time. Initiatives leading to reduced working hours and increases in leisure time may increase life satisfaction and may result in reductions in medical expenses.
Keywords: working hours; leisure time; subjective health; life satisfaction; mediating effect.
A Regional Social Progress Index: The case of Epirus, Greece
by Mihail Diakomihalis
Abstract: With reference to a social progress index (SPI), this paper considers the progress level of the region of Epirus, Greece, to gain insights into factors affecting different facets of the regions social wellbeing and to identify its socioeconomic strengths and weaknesses.
In a sample of respondents representing three levels of education and three types of employment who live in Epirus, the region is empirically evaluated for how satisfying it meets three criteria (i.e., basic human needs, foundations of well-being, and personal and social opportunities) and each of their four sub criteria.
Revealing wide variation in the satisfaction of Epiruss mean scores compared to those of well-being indices applied worldwide and in Greece, the results informed suggestions for improving Epiruss social progress and for verifying its current development relative to other regions of EU member countries.
Keywords: Social progress index; basic human needs; criteria of well-being; personal and social opportunities; Epirus; Greece.
Subjective Well-being of the Informal Workers: an Empirical study from Hooghly district of West Bengal, India
by Breeta Banerjee, Amit Kundu
Abstract: The objective of this paper is to understand the welfare of informal workers using the concept of subjective well-being. The paper attempts to evaluate the state of well-being at individual level by constructing individual-specific subjective well-being index. Then it investigates the short-run relationship of the constructed index with income and other relevant demographic factors. The study is based on data from primary survey of urban and rural informal workers in the Hooghly district of India. The conceptual framework identifies two broad dimensions of subjective well-being- life satisfaction and psychological well-being. The final composite subjective well-being index is a combination of the two sub-indices coming from those dimensions. Simple OLS regression models have been used to investigate the relationship of subjective well-being with income and other demographic factors. The paper finds income to be a strong positive influencer of subjective well-being of informal workers. Income not only influences the overall subjective well-being but also the life satisfaction and psychological well-being when considered separately. Although a segregated analysis for rural and urban workers reveals that influence of income on subjective well-being is statistically significant only for urban workers. The factors having significant influence on subjective well-being of informal workers distinctly differ across urban and rural area and rural workers tend to have higher well-being score than their urban counterpart. Also, regular wage-earners are better off in overall subjective well-being as well as life satisfaction than self-employed and casual labors. This study is one of the very few studies in Indian context which attempt to evaluate subjective well-being of informal workers. The study uses a rather simple data set and thus the findings provide a basic overview of what factors influence subjective well-being of informal workers. Future direction should be towards creating larger and more in-depth data-series on subjective well-being indicators of informal workers suitable for more causal analysis.
Keywords: Happiness economics; Subjective well-being index; Informal worker; Factor influencing subjective well-being.
Do Education and Health Influence Economic Growth and Food Security? Evidence from Bangladesh
by Islam Md. Saiful
Abstract: This study aims to explore the impact of education and health on economic growth and food security (FS) in Bangladesh. It employs economic growth rate, expenditure on education as a proxy for education, expenditure on health as a proxy for health, and fertility rate, infant mortality rate and prevalence of undernourishment as proxies for FS. Descriptive statistics are used to measure the FS indices. Engle-Granger cointegration technique is applied to determine the long run and short run relationships among variables, using data for the period 1998-2017 published by the World Bank. Engle-Granger cointegration results confirm the existence of short run as well as long run positive relationships between education spending and economic growth. The findings suggest that education has a direct link with FS, which has various dimensions, including access to food; if the population are educated, they are empowered and are able to access food both by market and non-market mechanisms. Therefore, the government and non-government organizations should adopt appropriate programs and increase spending on education and health that will promote literacy, social awareness and will eventually create a vibrant healthy community in which both production and income will increase that will lead to economic growth and FS both at national and household levels.
Keywords: Education expenditure; economic growth; adult literacy rate; causality; food security; Bangladesh.
The Mediating Role of Self- Compassion in Relation between Character Strengths and Flourishing in College Students
by Forough Jafari
Abstract: Positive psychologists attempt to find practical ways to increase flourishing in individuals and societies (White, Uttl, and Holder, 2019). The present study aims to investigate the relationship between character strengths and flourishing with the mediating role of self-compassion among college students in Iran?. The research method was structural equation modeling. The statistical sample consisted of 376 university students between the ages of 20-30 years old with an average age of 24.3 years. ?Fifty-seven percent of the participants were ?females from the science and research branch at Azad University who were selected through cluster random sampling. The data were collected using the Self-Compassion Scale (Neff, 2003), the Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (Peterson and Seligman, 2004) and the Human Flourishing Questionnaire. (Soleimani et al., 2015). The data was analyzed using path analysis and direct and indirect effects between variables through LISREL software. The character strengths? of love, gratitude and hope with the mediating role of self- compassion have an indirect effect on flourishing. According to the results, optimizing character strengths (especially emotional strengths) help people to accept themselves without self-judgment and self- criticism, which in turn improves individual flourishing.
Keywords: character strengths; flourishing; self-compassion; love; gratitude; hope; college students; structural equation modeling.
Quest of Nexus between Inflation and Economic Development: Evidence from Asian Countries
by Amritkant Mishra
Abstract: This empirical analysis aspires to scrutinise the nexus between economic development and inflation in Asian perspective by utilising panel dynamic OLS and the panel Granger causality method. The outcome of the panel dynamic OLS documents that, some proxies of economic development such as electric potency, transportation, telecommunication facility as well as financial development have negative impact on inflation, however, the per capita gross domestic product has a positive impact on the general price level. On the other hand, the consequence of causality analysis unearths that, there is one-way causality running from the per capita gross domestic product to inflation. Furthermore, the current study also documents that there is no causality running from energy, transport, communication, human resource, and financial development towards inflation. The policymakers can adopt all those strategies, which substantially enhance the economic development to condense inflation.
Keywords: Inflation; Economic Development; Panel dynamic OLS; Asian Countries.
A nudity-based intervention to improve body image, self-esteem, and life satisfaction.
by Keon West
Abstract: An individuals body image has profound implications for their self-esteem and overall life-satisfaction, and is a significant predictor of the onset of eating disorders. Recent research suggested that nude activities improved body image, self-esteem, and life-satisfaction among participants who were predisposed to take part in such activities. This current research investigated whether a nudity-based intervention can have similar positive effects among non-nudist participants with low levels of positive body-image, and whether those effects endure. Fifteen participants completed measures of body-image, self-esteem, and life-satisfaction before, immediately after, and one month after participating in a 4-day, nudity-based intervention. Participants reported substantial improvements in all three outcomes that remained one month after the interventions completion. Results suggest that nudity-based interventions can meaningfully and enduringly improve body image and related outcomes, even among non-nudists.
Keywords: nudity; body image; self-esteem; life satisfaction; intervention.
Social well-being and livelihood challenges in conflict economies: A study of Syrian citizens perception of geopolitical fragility
by Faisal Ahmed, Moaz Gharib, Omar Durrah, Vinaytosh Mishra
Abstract: We study the citizens perception of geopolitical fragility and livelihood-related vulnerabilities in context of conflict economies. This is a situation in which the states lack capabilities to safeguard their population, thus leading to adverse impact on their ability to sustain social well-being and livelihood. The case in point is of Syria, which continues to face several rudimentary socio-economic challenges owing to the ongoing conflict. We analyse 280 responses from Syrian citizens including 143 based in the home country and 137 residing outside Syria. The sample comprises of 213 males and 67 females. We employ statistical techniques like Exploratory Factor Analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) to derive relevant findings. The factors have been grouped under five heads namely psycho-social factors, social security factors, livelihood factors, governance factors and socio-economic factors. The findings of this study reveals that the citizens perception of fragility in Syria differs on the basis of gender and age group. It is, however, not affected by their educational background or their resident status. Also, the most impactful factors as perceived by the Syrian citizens include the following: mistrust in society (psycho-social factor), fear of losing the opportunity to study (social security factor), food security and crisis (livelihood factor), damaging of transport sector owing to geopolitical situation (governance factor), and, losing hope in good governance (socio-economic factor). This study will be useful for policy makers and inter-governmental organisations for assessing their developmental interventions.
Keywords: Conflict economies; Syria; citizen’s perception; fragility; livelihood.
Impact of the Intra-household Bargaining Power Gap on the Happiness of Married Women in China
by Xinxin Ma
Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of the intra-household bargaining power gap on the happiness of married women in China. It uses data from the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) from 2005 to 2015. The results indicate the education gap, the income gap, and the hukou gap between wife and husband may negatively affect married womens happiness, while the age gap may positively affect married womens happiness. It is also found that the effects of the intra-household bargaining power gap on happiness are greater for working married women, the short-term marriage group, and the rural group. This suggests that an increase in the gender gap of intra-household bargaining power and workfamily conflict may decrease married womens happiness in contemporary China.
Keywords: intra-household bargaining power; happiness; married working women; gender roles; China.