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ESSAYS ON WELL-BEING AND DEVELOPMENT

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Title:ESSAYS ON WELL-BEING AND DEVELOPMENT
Authors:Dhakal, Chandra Shekhar
Contributors:Love, Inessa (advisor)
Economics (department)
Keywords:Economics
Economic theory
Direct Effect
Happiness
Indirect Effect
show 3 moreLife-Satisfaction
Non-economic Factors
Well-being
show less
Date Issued:2019
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:The study of happiness, life satisfaction, or subjective well-being has gained considerable traction from economists over the past two decades. Happiness research is important because the ultimate goal of most human beings is to be happy. This dissertation offers three essays on well-being and economic development. Throughout this dissertation, I use the terms happiness, life-satisfaction, and subjective well-being interchangeably.
The first essay applies data from the World Values Survey for 90 countries to study the relationship between education levels and well-being. Results suggest that education has a monotonically positive relationship with well-being across countries. The magnitude of the direct effect of education on well-being is bigger in low-income countries than in middle-and high-income countries, and larger for females than males. Although the economic significance of the direct effect of education on well-being appears to be relatively small, its effect via income is bigger. The magnitude of the indirect effect of education on well-being through income is larger in developing countries than in developed countries. The study finds that the direct effect of education on well-being has decreased significantly over time.
The second essay uses cross-sectional individual-level data from the World Value Survey to explore the well-being of self-employed women around the globe. The paper also provides new evidence on the relationship between various non-economic factors and the well-being of self-employed women and self-employed men. The study finds that women, in general, are happier than men across countries, but the well-being of self-employed women, especially in developing countries, is lower than the well-being of self-employed men. Female entrepreneurs experience lower well-being than male entrepreneurs in rural areas, especially in developing countries. Results show that various non-economic factors have a differential influence on the well-being of male and female entrepreneurs. Specifically, my study finds that non-economic factors, like lack of self-confidence to run a business, stricter adherence to social norms, and the presence of young children lowers the well-being of self-employed women more than self-employed men. Results also suggest that that better-educated self-employed women are happier than self-employed men.
The third essay explores the relationship between the business environment and the happiness of entrepreneurs around the world using country-level data from the World Bank and the Gallup World Poll. Results show that entrepreneurs are happier in countries with a better business environment. Results suggest that they can reap better benefits of self-employment when it is easier and more efficient to operate their business. These results are robust to controlling for a variety of other country features. The study finds that entrepreneurs are happier, as compared to non-entrepreneurs in the environment with higher unemployment likely because of added stability and independence of their occupational choice. These results shed new light on the happiness of entrepreneurs.
Pages/Duration:119 pages
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/66187
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Economics


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