Last week, the UN published their World Happiness Report to coincide with International Day of Happiness. According to this year’s edition, Norway is the world’s happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden. This year’s report includes a chapter focusing on happiness at work. It finds that unemployment causes a major fall in happiness, while for those in employment, quality of work can cause major variations in happiness.
Jo Ritzen writes in his article Happiness as a guide to labor market policy, “Active labor market policies that create more job opportunities increase happiness, which in turn increases productivity. Measures of individual happiness should therefore guide labor market policy more explicitly.”
Writing on unemployment and happiness, Rainer Winkelmann says “There is overwhelming evidence that unemployment takes a heavy toll on life satisfaction. The nonpecuniary cost of unemployment exceeds the pecuniary cost, and not conforming to the social work norm is one of the main drivers of loss of life satisfaction."
In his February New York Times opinion piece "A time for immodest proposals" Ross Douthat quoted a right-leaning economist who stated that the US labor market is not doing well, with unemployment high and wages stagnating. This seems to be a general opinion, with Donald Trump complaining during the election campaign about high unemployment and Bernie Sanders arguing about falling living standards. With a carefully chosen base period for comparison, one can easily demonstrate either improving or declining conditions; but the correct basis is a time when unemployment is about the same as today's 4.8%. As the figure shows, that time is 2000.
ILO: International Conference on Jobs and Skills Mismatch, May 11-12. This conference, held in Geneva, aims to deepen understanding of the labor market effects of various types of skill mismatch and how they can be best measured in different country contexts. It will include ILO research and also present the work of other partner international organizations.
Second World Congress of Comparative Economics, June 15-17. The Congress, held at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg, will include plenary sessions, workshops, as well as the editors’ panel and special events. There will also be a small exhibition area which will give participants the opportunity to meet with vendors who specialize in providing e-resources.
Call for abstracts: Work and Pensions Labour Economics study group, July 27-28. The annual WPEG conference will take place at the University of Sheffield. The Programme Committee invites submissions of abstracts from academic, government, and business economists in any field of labor economics and related research areas which are aligned with DWP strategic objectives. Abstract submission deadline: April 28.
Call for papers: AIEL XXXII National Conference of Labour Economics, September 14-15. We are pleased to invite you to attend the 32nd annual Conference of the Italian Association of Labour Economists to be hosted by the Department of Economics, Statistics and Finance “Giovanni Anania” at the University of Calabria in the Arcavacata Campus in Rende (Cosenza), on September 14-15, 2017. Submission deadline: June 15.