10,533 research outputs found

    On Executive Attention

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    A simple statistical method for measuring how life events affect happiness

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    Background Life events—like illness, marriage, or unemployment—have important effects on people. But there is no accepted way to measure the different sizes of these events upon human happiness and psychological health. By using happiness regression equations, economists have recently developed a method. Methods We estimate happiness regressions using large random samples of individuals. The relative coefficients of income and life events on happiness allow us to calculate a monetary ‘compensating amount’ for each kind of life event. Results The paper calculates the impact of different life events upon human well-being. Getting married, for instance, is calculated to bring each year the same amount of happiness, on average, as having an extra £70 000 of income per annum. The psychological costs of losing a job greatly exceed those from the pure drop in income. Health is hugely important to happiness. Widowhood brings a degree of unhappiness that would take, on average, an extra £170 000 per annum to offset. Well-being regressions also allow us to assess one of the oldest conjectures in social science—that well-being depends not just on absolute things but inherently on comparisons with other people. We find evidence for comparison effects. Conclusion We believe that the new statistical method has many applications. In principle, it can be used to value any kind of event in life

    A follow-up empirical analysis of Scottish construction clients' interaction with mediation

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    Although across many jurisdictions, mediation’s origins (in the modern sense at least1) often lay in the dispute areas of family and community matters, in recent years the process has begun to take root in the arena of construction disputes (for an international review of developments see Brooker and Wilkinson 2010). In contrast to traditional means of resolving disputes, it is contended that mediation may be a quicker, cheaper, less adversarial and more harmonious form of dispute resolution than traditional methods

    Construction clients and mediation: a follow-up study of attitudes and experience

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    Construction disputes by their very nature are often complex, sometimes multi-party disputes, many of which are not suited to either adjudication or traditional forms of dispute resolution (these being potentially slow, expensive and divisive). The sheer complexity of construction disputes often leading to expensive, time-consuming and stressful paths being trodden through the traditional resolution terrain, creates a compelling case for the introduction of alternative approaches within this adversarial industry. The construction industry has become increasingly aware of the substantial legal costs it burdens itself with as a consequence of its high incidence of disputes. Moreover, this expenditure, which globally represents a substantial sum each year, is by no means reflective of the hidden costs of disputes, such as the damage to reputations and commercial relationships; cost of time spent by executive personnel; and cost of lost business opportunities. Over recent years, the Scottish Government and key players in Scottish commerce have emerged as advocates of mediation as a first choice method of settling disputes. The value of mediation has also been widely acknowledged worldwide, as evidenced by the number of jurisdictions in which the courts enforce obligations on parties to negotiate and adopt mediation to settle construction disputes. In most contexts, voluntary uptake of the process is low, however, and research into prospective client perceptions is particularly valuable. The principal aim then of this study was to explore construction participants’ [construction clients hereafter] awareness, attitudes and experiences relative to mediation, drawing upon quantitative and qualitative analyses of small and medium-sized contracting firms in Scotland. This was reflected in the main objectives of this research which were to evaluate the effectiveness of prevailing construction dispute resolution methods in Scotland; establish baseline information about the current extent of construction mediation activity in Scotland, determine the willingness of Scottish construction clients to shift away from traditional approaches to dispute resolution to mediation; and if they are, to ascertain the drivers towards the adoption of mediatory techniques, and if not the barriers to change

    The organisational commitment of workers in OECD countries

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    The degree to which workers identify with their firms, and how hard they are willing to work for them, would seem to be key variables for the understanding of both firm productivity and individual labour-market outcomes. This paper uses repeated cross-section ISSP data from 1997 and 2005 to consider three of measures of worker commitment. There are enormous cross-country differences in these commitment measures, which are difficult to explain using individual- or job-related characteristics. These patterns do, however, correlate with some country-level variables. While unemployment and inflation are both associated with lower commitment to an extent, economic and civil liberties are positively correlated with worker effort and pride in the firm.commitment ; reciprocity ; well-being

    Born to be mild? Cohort effects don't explain why well-being is U-shaped in age

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    The statistical analysis of cross-section data very often reveals a U-shaped relationship between subjective well-being and age. This paper uses fourteen waves of British panel data to distinguish between a pure life-cycle or aging effect, and a fixed cohort effect that depends on year of birth. Panel analysis controlling for fixed effects continues to produce a U-shaped relationship between well-being and age, although this U-shape is flatter for life satisfaction than for the GHQ measure of mental well-being. The pattern of the estimated cohort effects differs between the two well-being measures and, to an extent, by demographic group. In particular, those born earlier report more positive GHQ scores, controlling for their current age; this phenomenon is especially found for women.well-being ; aging ; cohort effects ; panel analysis

    Happiness, habits and high rank: Comparisons in economic and social life

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    The role of money in producing sustained subjective well-being seems to be seriously compromised by social comparisons and habituation. But does that necessarily mean that we would be better off doing something else instead? This paper suggests that the phenomena of comparison and habituation are actually found in a variety of economic and social activities, rendering conclusions regarding well-being policy less straightforward.comparison ; habituation ; income ; unemployment ; marriage ; divorce ; health ; religion ; policy

    Work, jobs and well-being across the Millennium

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    This paper uses repeated cross-section data ISSP data from 1989, 1997 and 2005 to consider movements in job quality. It is first underlined that not having a job when you want one is a major source of low well-being. Second, job values have remained fairly stable over time, although workers seem to give increasing importance to the more social aspects of jobs: useful and helpful jobs. The central finding of the paper is that, following a substantial fall between 1989 and 1997, subjective measures of job quality have mostly bounced back between 1997 and 2005. Overall job satisfaction is higher in 2005 than it was in 1989. Last, the rate of self-employment has been falling gently in ISSP data; even so three to four times as many people say they would prefer to be self-employed than are actually self-employed. As the self-employed are more satisfied than are employees, one consistent interpretation of the above is that the barriers to self-employment have grown in recent years.employment ; unemployment ; self-employment ; life satisfaction ; job quality ; job satisfaction

    A note on unhappiness and unemployment duration

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    Although it is now widely-accepted that unemployment is associated with sharply lower levels of individual well-being, relatively little is known about how this effect depends on unemployment duration. Data from three large-scale European panels is used to shed light on this issue; these data allow us to distinguish habituation to unemployment from sample selection. The panel results show little evidence of habituation to unemployment in Europe in the 1990's.life satisfaction ; unemployment ; unemployment duration ; habituation

    The curved relationship between subjective well-being and age

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    This article is concerned with a body of work on happiness and age represented by important papers such as Mroczek and Kolarz (1998) and Mroczek and Spiro (2005). Using a large British data set, the paper presents new longitudinal evidence. It also points out that, perhaps unknown to many psychologists, a parallel literature on this topic exists in economics journals. The paper shows that subjective well-being follows a U-shape through the life course. We argue that eventually the two literatures will have to be made consistent with one another, and suggest that, although it is not easy to live in both worlds, with their different styles and conventions, economists and psychologists still have much to learn from one another.happiness ; ageing ; well-being
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