Newsletter de l’Observatoire du Bien-être n°33 – Juillet 2020

L’épidémie de covid-19 a donné lieu à un nombre impressionnant de publications. Cette newletter est par conséquent plus longue que d’habitude. Nous nous réjouissons de voir la place qu’ont pris les métriques de bien-être dans l’analyse des conséquences de l’épidémie, et espérons que cela favorisera leur utilisation pour la conception et l’évaluation des politiques publiques. À ce sujet, nous relevons l’édition spéciale de Behavioural Public Policies qui fait le point sur les enjeux d’un tel usage.

Par ailleurs, nous publions début juillet notre note de conjoncture, qui donne une photo de la France en cours de déconfinement. D’autres publications suivront au cours de l’été.

Comme les années précédentes, il n’y aura pas de newsletter en août, nous vous retrouverons donc avec plaisir début septembre.

Observatoire

Note de l’Observatoire du Bien-être n°2020-06 : Le Bien-être des Français – Juin 2020

Notre baromètre de juin a pris une photo du bien-être des Français en plein déconfinement. Là où notre précédente note montrait que l’entrée dans le confinement les avait pris par surprise, celle-ci suggère que la fin du confinement est arrivée comme un soulagement. La grande majorité de nos indicateurs de bien-être subjectif sont ainsi orientés à la hausse, et bon nombre d’entre eux atteignent leur plus haut niveau depuis le début de l’enquête, il y a maintenant quatre ans.

À l’image des précédents mouvements massifs, comme la présidentielle de 2017 ou la crise des Gilets jaunes, nous nous attendons à une grande dimension conjoncturelle à cette évolution, avec une forme de retour à la normale en septembre.

Nous avons naturellement aussi mis à jour notre tableau de bord en ligne.

Mathieu Perona, « Le Bien-être des Français – Juin 2020 », Observatoire du Bien-être du Cepremap, n°2020-06, 01 juillet 2020

COVID-19, Lockdowns and Well-Being: Evidence from Google Trends

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led many governments to implement locszkdowns. While lockdowns may help to contain the spread of the virus, they may result in substantial damage to population well-being. We use Google Trends data to test whether the lockdowns implemented in Europe and America led to changes in well-being related topic search terms. Using differences-in-differences and a regression discontinuity design to evaluate the causal effects of lockdown, we find a substantial increase in the search intensity for boredom in Europe and the US. We also found a significant increase in searches for loneliness, worry and sadness, while searches for stress, suicide and divorce on the contrary fell. Our results suggest that people’s mental health may have been severely affected by the lockdown.

Abel Brodeur, Andrew E. Clark, Sarah Flèche, Nattavudh Powdthavee, “COVID-19, Lockdowns and Well-Being: Evidence from Google Trends”, IZA DP No. 13204

The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership

Abstract: We here ask whether the U-shaped relationship between life satisfaction and age is flatter for those who are partnered. This is the case in cross-section EU-SILC data, where the drop in life satisfaction from the teens to the 50s is almost four times larger for the non-partnered than for the partnered, whose life satisfaction essentially follows a slight downward trajectory with age. However, the same analysis in three panel datasets (BHPS, SOEP and HILDA) reveals a U-shape for both marital groups, although still somewhat flatter for the partnered than for the non-partnered. We suggest that the difference between the cross-section and panel results reflects compositional effects: there is in particular a significant shift of the relatively dissatisfied out of marriage in mid-life. These composition effects will flatten the U-shape in age for the partnered in cross-section data.

Andrew E. Clark & Hippolyte d’Albis & Angela Greulich, 2020. “The Age U-shape in Europe: The Protective Role of Partnership,” Working Papers halshs-02872212, HAL.

Bien-être subjectif et politique publiques

La revue Behavioural Public Policies consacre un numéro spécial à la place que les indicateurs de bien-être subjectif peuvent ou doivent occuper dans l’orientation et l’évaluation de la politique publique. Cette revue de la question donne une large place au débat entre le pilotage par un indicateur-clef, la satisfaction dans la vie, et les approches en tableau de bord, à indicateurs multiples.

On Happiness Being the Goal of Government, Volume 4 – Special Issue 2 – July 2020

Compare your income

L’OCDE a mis en ligne une version renouvelée de son outil « Quelle est votre part ? ». Cet outil propose aux utilisateurs de se positionner dans l’échelle des revenus de leur pays, et confronte ce positionnement subjectif aux distributions effectives de revenus. La nouvelle version ajoute un module qui porte sur le niveau de redistribution souhaité, là aussi mis en face du niveau effectif.

https://www.compareyourincome.org/fr

Covid-19

Well-being in Europe: Addressing the high cost of COVID-19 on life satisfaction

Une analyse des coût de la crise en termes de bien-être, menée par les consultants de McKinsey. Au-delà de l’intérêt de l’exercice lui-même, la publication de cette contribution montre que les évaluations en termes de bien-être commencent à se diffuser dans des cercles d’expertise hors du milieu académique.

Tera Allas, David Chinn, Pal Erik Sjatil, and Whitney Zimmermann, “Well-being in Europe: Addressing the high cost of COVID-19 on life satisfaction”, McKinsey & Company, 09 June 2020.

Revenge of the experts: Will COVID-19 renew or diminish trust in science?

Abstract: It is argued that COVID-19 will reverse the ongoing trend of challenging the value of science and the integrity of scientists. This column shows that exposure to epidemics in one’s country of residence during the ‘impressionable years’ of ages 18 to 25 has no impact on confidence in science as an enterprise, but negatively affects views of the honesty and public-spiritedness of scientists.

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen, Orkun Saka, “Revenge of the experts: Will COVID-19 renew or diminish trust in science?”, VoxEU, 31 May 2020

La Science n’est pas valorisée par la crise sanitaire

Résumé : La crise sanitaire a engendré des réactions très positives vis-à-vis du monde hospitalier et médical, laissant entendre qu’une nouvelle ère de rationalité scientifique s’ouvrait. Néanmoins, les activités scientifiques n’ont pas bénéficié d’une valorisation sociale particulière. Celle-ci dépend toujours étroitement du niveau de populisme des enquêtés. La comparaison avec l’Allemagne et le Royaume-Uni montre par ailleurs que les statistiques officielles fournies par le gouvernement en France ne suscitent qu’un faible niveau de confiance. Derrière la crise sanitaire, la crise démocratique est toujours active.

Rouban, Luc, « La science n’est pas valorisée par la crise sanitaire», Note Le Baromètre de la confiance politique, SciencesPo CEVIPOF, note 2, vague 11bis, avril 2020, 8 p.

https://www.sciencespo.fr/cevipof/fr/content/les-notes-de-recherche-du-barometre

La Science au temps de la Covid-19

Résumé : En France, une série d’enquêtes sur les attitudes du public à l’égard de la science menée depuis le début des années 70 a montré non pas un effondrement de la confiance dans la science, mais des jugements qui, très largement positifs dans les années 70 et 80, sont devenus au fil du temps plus ambigus. Ainsi, en 1973, 57% du public estimait que « la science apporte à l’homme plus de bien que de mal » et 38% « Autant de bien que de mal ». Dans le Baromètre de la confiance du CEVIPOF administré en décembre 2018, ces proportions se sont inversées : 38% estimaient que la science apporte à l’homme « Plus de bien que de mal » et 47% « Autant de bien que de mal ».

Boy, Daniel, « La science au temps de la Covid-19 », Sciences Po CEVIPOF, note 2, juin 2020, 6 p.

http://www.sciencespo.fr/cevipof/fr/content/notes-de-recherche

The work of economists during the crisis: The EEA COVID-19 research registry initiative

Abstract: Economists can play a key role in helping policymakers and the public understand the unfolding economic effects of the crisis. In March 2020, the European Economic Association established a registry of COVID-19-related projects, inviting research teams working with real-time data during this crisis to share their work. This column gives an overview of the registered projects, highlighting topics economists are working on and methods being used. It also calls attention to areas and topics that are relatively understudied.

Giovanni Peri, Imran Rasul, “The work of economists during the crisis: The EEA COVID-19 research registry initiative”, VoxEu, 01 June 2020

From trade-offs to synergies: COVID-19, populism, and sustainable development

Abstract: Concerns are growing that the COVID-19 crisis could be exploited by populists claiming to be the voice of those who have been ‘left behind’. This column presents a new framework which could help shed light on the relationship between sustainable development and populism. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals may be associated with diminishing electoral support for populism, but humanity must still get better at turning the trade-offs between SDGs into synergies. During the COVID-19 recovery, an effective way to prevent populists from exploiting the crisis may involve making the SDGs the policy blueprint.

Christian Kroll, “From trade-offs to synergies: COVID-19, populism, and sustainable development”, VoxEU 09 June 2020

COVID-19: Narrative economics, public policy and mental health

Abstract: The general public’s mental health can be affected by different public policy responses to a pandemic threat. Italy, the UK and Sweden implemented distinct approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic: early lockdown, delayed lockdown, and no lockdown. This column presents a novel culture-based Development approach using narrative economics of language and Google trend data. It is evident that countries had a pre-existing culturally relative dispositions towards death-related anxiety and their sensitivity to COVID-19 public policy was country-specific. Further, one country’s lockdown policy can affect another country’s mental health, suggesting that policymakers should account for this spillover effect.

Annie Tubadji, Don Webber, Frederic Boy, “COVID-19: Narrative economics, public policy and mental health”,VoxEu, 10 June 2020

The political scar of epidemics

What will be the political legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic? This column uses data from the 2006-2018 Gallup World Polls to show that epidemic exposure during an individual’s ‘impressionable years’ of 18 to 25 has a persistent negative effect on trust in political institutions and leaders, especially in democracies. Combined with other evidence that trust is important for limiting the spread of infection, this raises the spectre of a circular, self-reinforcing spiral in which poor public health policy leads to deeper distrust, further undermining the effectiveness of public health policy.

Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen, Orkun Saka, “The political scar of epidemics”, VoxEU, 15 June 2020

Life Dissatisfaction and Anxiety in COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract: The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths, prolonged lockdowns, substantial restrictions on public life and an economic downturn negatively affect personal well-being. In this paper, we explore COVID- 19-related determinants of life dissatisfaction and feelings of anxiety using data collected from March 23 to April 30 2020 in 25 advanced and developing countries from four continents. We find that persons with better general health, with a paid job, living with a partner, daily exercising and those avoiding loneliness report less dissatisfaction and less anxiety. The presence of children and a pet in the household has no effect. Women report anxiety feelings more often than men. Older people report lower dissatisfaction and anxiety, remarkable given that the older population is among the most vulnerable in the current pandemic. Jobrelated changes due to COVID-19 such as income reduction and increase or decrease of workload are associated with more dissatisfaction and more anxiety. In reaction to the pandemic governments have adopted a range of measures. We show that restrictions on mobility and requirements to wear protective gear in public increase dissatisfaction and that the state-imposed emergency increase feelings of anxiety. We find that a growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases increases dissatisfaction and anxiety but that this effect levels off with a higher number of cases. Our findings support targeted government policies to preserve economic security, and increase stability of employment.

de Pedraza, Pablo, Guzi, Martin and Tijdens, Kea, (2020), “Life Dissatisfaction and Anxiety in COVID-19 pandemic”, No 544, GLO Discussion Paper Series, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

Who is lonely in lockdown? Cross-cohort analyses of predictors of loneliness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Abstract: There are concerns internationally that lockdown measures taken during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to a rise in loneliness. As loneliness is recognised as a major public health concern, it is therefore vital that research considers the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on loneliness in order to provide necessary support. But it remains unclear who is lonely in lockdown? Methods: This study compared socio-demographic predictors of loneliness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic using cross-cohort analyses of data from UK adults captured before the pandemic (UK Household Longitudinal Study, n=31,064) and during the pandemic (UCL COVID-19 Social Study, n=60,341). Results: Risk factors for loneliness were near identical prior to and during the pandemic. Young adults, women, people with lower education or income, the economically inactive, people living alone, and urban residents had a higher odds of being lonely. Some people who were already at risk for being lonely (e.g. young adults aged 18-30, people with low household income, and adults living alone) experienced a heightened risk during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to usual (indicated by higher coefficients). Further, being a student emerged as a higher risk factor during lockdown than usual. Conclusions: Findings suggest that interventions to reduce or prevent loneliness during COVID-19 should be targeted at those socio-demographic groups already identified as high-risk in previous research. These groups are likely not just to experience loneliness during the pandemic but to have an even higher odds than normal of experiencing loneliness relative to low-risk groups.

Feifei Bu, Andrew Steptoe, Daisy Fancourt, “Who is lonely in lockdown? Cross-cohort analyses of predictors of loneliness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic”, medRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.05.14.20101360

Les inégalités face au risque de détresse psychologique pendant le confinement.

La France fait face à une crise sanitaire sans précédent, liée à l’épidémie de Covid-19, qui a conduit à la mise en place d’un confinement obligatoire à domicile pour toute la population.

Or, cette mesure n’est pas sans impact potentiel sur la santé, en particulier la santé mentale. Cette étude a pour objectif de déterminer l’ampleur de la survenue de détresse psychologique dans la population française au cours des premières phases du confinement, et d’en identifier les facteurs associés afin de repérer des populations vulnérables nécessitant un soutien. Une première vague d’enquête internet a été diffusée entre le 3 et le 14 avril 2020 en mobilisant un échantillon de personnes de 18 ans ou plus, représentatives de la population française vivant en ménage ordinaire en France métropolitaine. La survenue d’une détresse psychologique est observée chez un tiers des répondants. Si le fait d’être exposé au virus en constitue un facteur de risque, les conditions et conséquences du confinement semblent jouer le rôle le plus marqué. Certains segments de la population particulièrement à risque ont été identifiés, notamment les femmes, les personnes vivant avec une maladie chronique, celles bénéficiant d’un faible soutien social, celles confinées dans des logements sur-occupés et celles dont la situation financière s’est dégradée. Ces résultats encouragent le développement d’actions ciblées à destination de ces populations, que ce soit pour favoriser leur accès aux soins de santé mentale ou pour modérer l’impact social et économique de nouvelles mesures de confinement si elles devaient être reproduites.

Coralie Gandré, Magali Coldefy, Thierry Rochereau, « Les inégalités face au risque de détresse psychologique pendant le confinement. Premiers résultats de l’enquête COCLICO du 3 au 14 avril 2020 », IRDES, Questions d’économie de la santé n° 249 – Juin 2020

Lu sur le Web

The impact of digital technology use on adolescent well-being

Abstract: This review provides an overview of the literature regarding digital technology use and adolescent well-being. Overall, findings imply that the general effects are on the negative end of the spectrum but very small. Effects differ depending on the type of use: whereas procrastination and passive use are related to more negative effects, social and active use are related to more positive effects. Digital technology use has stronger effects on short-term markers of hedonic well-being (eg, negative affect) than long-term measures of eudaimonic well-being (eg, life satisfaction). Although adolescents are more vulnerable, effects are comparable for both adolescents and adults. It appears that both low and excessive use are related to decreased well-being, whereas moderate use is related to increased well-being. The current research still has many limitations: High-quality studies with large-scale samples, objective measures of digital technology use, and experience sampling of well-being are missing.

Tobias Dienlin, Niklas Johannes, “The impact of digital technology use on adolescent well-being”, Dialogues Clin Neurosci 2020;22(2):135-142. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2020.22.2/tdienlin

Atlas de la santé mentale en France

Résumé En France, les troubles psychiques sont associés à des enjeux majeurs en termes de prises en charge dans un champ en pleine mutation. Encore souvent centré uniquement sur le soin, le suivi des personnes atteintes de troubles psychiques s’oriente néanmoins vers le rétablissement, l’inclusion sociale, professionnelle et citoyenne des personnes. Impliquant de nombreux acteurs des secteurs sanitaire et médico-social appelés à coopérer dans le cadre des projets territoriaux en santé mentale, il est encore difficile à caractériser à l’échelle nationale, à partir du système d’information existant. Les raisons en sont également l’importance du non-recours aux soins, la difficulté à poser un diagnostic, souvent évolutif, et les besoins globaux des personnes qui couvrent l’ensemble des champs de la vie quotidienne. Pour autant, en 2017, on estime à plus de 7 millions le nombre d’individus qui ont eu une prise en charge spécialisée due à un trouble psychique diagnostiqué ou à un traitement psychotrope.

Dans ce contexte, l’Atlas de la santé mentale en France propose une photographie inédite tant des prises en charge que de l’offre disponible sur le territoire à partir de systèmes d’information existants. Il décrit des situations spécifiques, notamment celles de populations particulièrement vulnérables du fait de leur âge ou de leur milieu de vie : les enfants et adolescents, les adultes de 18 à 64 ans suivis pour des troubles psychiques fréquents ou des troubles psychiques sévères et persistants, les personnes âgées et la population pénitentiaire. Il s’adresse ainsi tant aux acteurs concernés dont les usagers des services de santé mentale, leurs proches, les professionnels de santé et du secteur social et médico-social qu’aux décideurs politiques nationaux et locaux et aux chercheurs.

Coldefy M., Gandré C. (Irdes),Atlas de la santé mentale en France,Édition Irdes, Ouvrage n° 7 série Atlas – Mai 2020 – 160 pages

Economic Downturns and Mental Wellbeing

We study the impact of the business cycle on mental wellbeing by linking rich German survey data to over a decade of detailed gross domestic product information. Endogeneity concerns are tackled using a shift-share instrumental variables approach in which exposure to macroeconomic fluctuations is estimated from regional variations in historical industry sector composition. Estimation results reveal strong negative effects of economic downturns on both life satisfaction and a multidimensional measure of mental health. We provide evidence that these effects are mediated by fear of job loss and income reductions, while actual unemployment effects are negligible. A case study of the impact of the global financial crisis reveals that adverse effects on mental wellbeing are persistent and remained even after the economy recovered.

Avdic, Daniel; de New, Sonja C.; Kamhöfer, Daniel A., “Economic Downturns and Mental Wellbeing”, DICE Discussion Paper, No. 337

Does a better protected environment enhance happiness in European countries?

Abstract: The promotion of a sustainable development and the safeguard of citizens? wellbeing through the international cooperation is one of the fundamental scope of many multilateral environmental agreements. In particular, the Parties who ratified the Aarhus Convention recognized the importance of an ample environmental protection for human well-being of present and future generations. They also stated that the right of everyone is to live in an environment appropriate to their own health. Therefore, the pursuit of happiness and well-being cannot represent a secondary objective in environmental decision-making (United Nations, 2011; Tofallis, 2019). Providing that environmental factors affect human well-being (MacKerron and Mourato, 2013), an interesting question may concern the actions that policy makers can take to promote a safer environment and, as a consequence, to improve the quality of life of the citizens. The answer to this question may offer important policy implications for controlling pollution and environmental degradation that generate negative externalities. The linkage between environmental degradation and well-being has been explained as both a relational and environmental failure of market societies. The capacity to generate growth is negatively affected by mass dissatisfaction in rich societies deriving from an excessive depletion of environmental and social assets, as growth does not necessarily lead to happiness (Bartolini, 2007, p. 351). Hence, public spending on environmental protection responds to a worsening in the quality of life caused by overexploitation of natural resources and aims to restore happiness by providing a more sustainable community development. The role of public expenditure is thus to provide those goods like environmental protection and pollution abatement which, by securing a more sustainable future, may increase the citizens? well-being. The aim of our paper is to study the long-run relationship between per capita environmental protection expenditure (EPE) and happiness at the European level. To our knowledge, this link remains unexplored. We use a dynamic panel heterogeneity analysis through an autoregressive distributed lag model estimated by the dynamic fixed effect, the mean group and the pooled mean group estimators. The sample covers 19 countries in the period 1997-2016. Our results highlight the existence of a direct long-run equilibrium between happiness and environmental protection expenditure. The policy implication suggested by our findings is that government expenditure on environmental protection may not only offer a solution to market failure but, by increasing happiness, could also improve the quality of social life.

D’Uva, Marcella, Bonasia, Mariangela, Napolitano, Oreste and De Simone, Elina, (2020), “Does a better protected environment enhance happiness in European countries?”, No 10012458, Proceedings of International Academic Conferences, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.

Does retirement lead to life satisfaction? Causal evidence from fixed effect instrumental variable models

Abstract: This paper presents robust evidence that retirement causally improves overall life satisfaction which is subsequently explained by improvements in satisfaction with one’s financial situation, free time, health, and participation in local community activities. Furthermore, while the positive wellbeing impact of retirement is sizable initially, it fades after the first 3 years. We find that the improvements in financial satisfaction upon retirement are only observed for low-income individuals. However, the wellbeing impact of retirement does not differ by gender, educational, occupational, economic or marital backgrounds. We also explore several potential explanations for our findings. This paper employs a fixed effect instrumental variable model, which exploits the discontinuity in the eligibility ages for state pension to construct an instrument for retirement, and 18 waves of high-quality Australian panel data. The results also suggest that failing to adequately account for the endogeneity of retirement would result in a downward-biased estimate of a positive wellbeing impact of retirement.

Nguyen, Ha, Mitrou, Francis, Taylor, Catherine L. and Zubrick, Stephen R., (2020), “Does retirement lead to life satisfaction? Causal evidence from fixed effect instrumental variable models”, No 536, GLO Discussion Paper Series, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

Comparing distributions of ordinal data

Abstract: Comparing distributions of ordinal data Stephen P. Jenkins 10 March 2020 Abstract To compare distributions of ordinal data such as individuals’ responses on Likert-type scale variables summarizing subjective well-being, we should not apply the toolbox of methods developed for cardinal variables such as income. Instead we should use an analogous toolbox which takes account of the ordinal nature of the responses. This paper reviews these methods and introduces a new Stata command ineqordfor undertaking distributional comparisons. As the empirical illustrations demonstrate, ineqordcan be used for dominance checks as well as for estimation of indices of polarization and inequality.

Jenkins, Stephen P. (2020) “Comparing distributions of ordinal data.” Stata Journal. ISSN 1536-867X (In Press)