Maximising happiness does not maximise welfare

Edward Glaeser, Joshua Gottlieb, Oren Ziv 15 October 2014

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Recent interest in the psychology and economics of happiness has had pronounced influence on public policy. The high-profile report by Stiglitz et al. (2009) epitomises a push for policies to explicitly promote increases in survey measures of wellbeing as a major social objective. Places ranging from the country of Bhutan to the city of Somerville, Massachusetts explicitly measure happiness, or subjective wellbeing, and strive for improvements over time in such measures.

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  happiness, welfare, cities, Rust Belt, US

How immigration benefits natives despite labour market imperfections and income redistribution

Michele Battisti, Gabriel Felbermayr, Giovanni Peri, Panu Poutvaara 08 August 2014

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A fierce policy debate with little insight from economists

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Topics:  Labour markets Migration

Tags:  Labour Markets, unemployment, wages, immigration, redistribution, welfare, Skill Complementarities

Missing gains from trade?

Marc J. Melitz, Stephen Redding 10 March 2014

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The theoretical result that there are gains from trade is a central tenet of international economics. Assuming perfect competition and no market failures, trade acts like a technological improvement that expands the set of feasible allocations and enables Pareto superior outcomes to be achieved. A recent body of research has sought to quantify the magnitude of these welfare gains.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  productivity, welfare, supply chains, gains from trade

It’s not a skill mismatch: Disaggregate evidence on the US unemployment-vacancy relationship

Rand Ghayad, William Dickens 05 January 2013

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The Beveridge curve – the empirical relationship between unemployment and vacancies – is thought to be an indicator of the efficiency of the functioning of the labour market. Normally when vacancies rise, unemployment falls following a curved path that typically remains stable over long periods of time.

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Topics:  Labour markets

Tags:  US, unemployment, skills, welfare

China’s pure exporter subsidies: Protectionism by exporting

Fabrice Defever, Alejandro Riaño 04 January 2013

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On 17 September last year, the US requested consultations with China concerning a wide range of export-contingent measures – grants, tax preferences and interest-rate subsidies, totalling at least $1 billion – in apparent violation of the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, China’s accession protocol and article XVI of the GATT. The EU joined the consultations shortly after on 28 September.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  China, WTO, trade, welfare

Religion makes people happy, so why is church attendance declining?

Bruno S Frey, Jana Gallus 02 October 2011

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Modern happiness research leaves no doubt that religious people are happier than their contemporaries. And the causality runs from religion to happiness (though it might also be possible that religious people are less interested in material aspects and, therefore, less affluent).

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  religion, welfare, life satisfaction, happiness research, churches

The price effects of cash versus in-kind transfers

Jesse Cunha, Giacomo De Giorgi, Seema Jayachandran,

Date Published

Mon, 09/26/2011

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Topics

Poverty and income inequality Welfare state and social Europe

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It is migration, stupid

Tito Boeri 23 June 2009

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Recessions are traditionally good times for left-wing parties, whose support for redistributive policies is perceived by voters as a sort of insurance scheme. If someone loses her job in the recession or gets poorer in the generalised downturn, there will be someone up there in the “centre of things” making sure that she receives some social support. “Nobody will be left behind” is the motto of Social Democrats. The golden age of Social Democrats in the European Parliament was in the mid-nineties when the EU was displaying a double-digit unemployment rate.

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Topics:  Migration

Tags:  unemployment, immigration, welfare

Welfare payments, liquidity constraints, and crime

Fritz Foley 05 August 2008

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Consider an individual who receives support from welfare payments that occur once a month. Several recent papers indicate that this individual is likely to spend this income soon after receiving it and to face severe liquidity constraints. Dobkin and Puller (2007), Shapiro (2005), and Stephens (2003) find that recipients of government income support increase their consumption when these payments arrive and experience increasing marginal utility of consumption in between payments.

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Topics:  Welfare state and social Europe

Tags:  US, crime, Poverty, welfare, liquidity constraints, consumption smoothing, saving

Measuring the welfare gain from new goods

Karen Kopecky , Jeremy Greenwood 03 March 2008

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New goods are constantly introduced. Some have a major impact, others little. Consider the recent case of the Apple iPhone. How much has the iPhone improved your welfare?

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Topics:  Productivity and Innovation

Tags:  innovation, new goods, PCs, welfare