Newsletter de l’Observatoire du Bien-être n°47 – Novembre 2021

Nous avons publié le 18 octobre dernier notre tableau de bord trimestriel du bien-être en France. Il est dominé par une stabilisation des indicateurs de bien-être subjectif à un niveau comparable à celui d’avant l’épidémie, mais avec des points de divergences entre génération, et le prolongement de la lente dégradation des perspectives des générations futures.

Nous relevons par ailleurs ce mois-ci un ensemble varié de contributions, allant du jeu vidéo à la cartographie participative du bien-être local dans les territoires ruraux, en passant par une note de DataColada mettant en garde contre la méthode par défaut de Stata pour le calcul des p-valeurs associées à des expériences randomisées contrôlées.


Le Bien-être des Français – Septembre 2021
Entre retour à la normale et inquiétudes pour l’avenir

Après 18 mois de hauts et de bas au gré de l’épidémie de Covid-19, les indicateurs du bien-être subjectif en France semblent se stabiliser à un niveau comparable à celui d’avant l’épidémie. Certains, comme le sentiment d’être heureux ou la satisfaction à l’égard du niveau de vie, restent même à des niveaux plus élevés.

C es évolutions recouvrent toutefois des dynamiques contrastées. Alors que la satisfaction à l’égard du temps libre est meilleure que ce qu’elle était avant la pandémie chez les hommes, elle reste inférieure chez les femmes. Dans le même temps, les moins de 45 ans expriment une satisfaction plus élevée que le trimestre dernier sur plusieurs dimensions-clefs, où l’évaluation faite par les 45-65 ans est plutôt en berne.

L’appréciation de l’avenir collectif, à l’échelle de la France ou de l’Europe, avait été relativement peu affectée par l’épidémie. Elle continue ce trimestre une tendance longue à la dégradation.

Mathieu Perona, « Le Bien-être des Français – septembre 2021 », Observatoire du Bien-être du Cepremap, n°2021-08, 18 octobre 2021.


How’s Life in Latin America?

Abstract: Many Latin American countries have experienced improvements in income over recent decades, with several of them now classified as high-income or upper middle-income in terms of conventional metrics. But has this change been mirrored in improvements across the different areas of people’s lives? How’s Life in Latin America? Measuring Well-being for Policy Making addresses this question by presenting comparative evidence for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) with a focus on 11 LAC countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay). Spanning material conditions, quality of life, resources for future well-being, and inequalities, the report presents available evidence on well-being both before and since the onset of the pandemic, based on the OECD Well-being Framework. It also identifies priorities for addressing well-being gaps and describes how well-being frameworks are used in policy within Latin America and elsewhere around the world, providing lessons for governments on what is needed to put people’s well-being at the centre of their action. The report is part of the EU Regional Facility for Development in Transition for Latin America and the Caribbean.

OCDE (2021), How’s Life in Latin America? : Measuring Well-being for Policy Making, Éditions OCDE, Paris,


Well-being and Mental Health – an integrated policy approach

From 6 to 9 December, we are co-organising along with the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs (ELS) a four-day virtual conference on the interrelationships between mental health and people’s economic, social, environmental and relational well-being. Experts and key stakeholders will take stock of existing work on the social determinants of population mental health, consider measurement challenges and examine lessons learned from integrated policy approaches so far.

For more information and to register, visit:

Lu sur le web

[99] Hyping Fisher: The Most Cited 2019 QJE Paper Relied on an Outdated STATA Default to Conclude Regression p-values Are Inadequate

Sur DataColada, Uri Simonsohn relève qu’un article très largement cité du QJE recommandant d’utiliser une forme particulière de tests pour les expériences contrôlées repose essentiellement sur un choix discutable de méthode par défaut dans STATA. L’usage d’autres options de la procédure de régression fournit de meilleurs résultats que la procédure recommandée par l’auteur de l’article du QJE. En bref :

  • Évitez reg y x, robust
  • Utilisez reg y x, vce(hc3)

Uri Simonsohn, “[99] Hyping Fisher: The Most Cited 2019 QJE Paper Relied on an Outdated STATA Default to Conclude Regression p-values Are Inadequate”, DataColada, October 13 2021, about Alwyn Young, Channeling Fisher: Randomization Tests and the Statistical Insignificance of Seemingly Significant Experimental Results, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 134, Issue 2, May 2019, Pages 557–598,

Poverty and economic decision making: a review of scarcity theory

Abstract: Poverty is associated with a wide range of counterproductive economic behaviors. Scarcity theory proposes that poverty itself induces a scarcity mindset, which subsequently forces the poor into suboptimal decisions and behaviors. The purpose of our work is to provide an integrated, up-to-date, critical review of this theory. To this end, we reviewed the empirical evidence for three fundamental propositions: (1) Poverty leads to attentional focus and neglect causing overborrowing, (2) poverty induces trade-off thinking resulting in more consistent consumption decisions, and (3) poverty reduces mental bandwidth and subsequently increases time discounting and risk aversion. Our findings indicate that the current literature predominantly confirms the first and second proposition, although methodological issues prevent a firm conclusion. Evidence for the third proposition was not conclusive. Additionally, we evaluated the overall status of scarcity theory. Although the theory provides an original, coherent, and parsimonious explanation for the relationship between financial scarcity and economic decision making, the theory does not fully accord with the data and lacks some precision. We conclude that both theoretical and empirical work are needed to build a stronger theory.

de Bruijn, EJ., Antonides, G. Poverty and economic decision making: a review of scarcity theory. Theory Decis (2021).

Does Sports Make People Happier, or Do Happy People More Sports?

Abstract: We contribute to the happiness literature by analyzing the causal relationship between sports and happiness. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio- Economic Panel (GSOEP), we find a positive correlation between sports participa- tion and reported life satisfaction. This relationship is stronger at younger and older ages than in middle age, and for people in bad health compared to those in average health. We further provide evidence for both causal directions. It turns out that the causal impact of engaging in sports on happiness is about four times higher than the effect of happiness on engaging in sports.

Frey, Bruno S. and Gullo, Anthony, (2021), Does Sports Make People Happier, or Do Happy People More Sports?, CREMA Working Paper Series, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).

The Consequences of Chronic Pain in Mid-Life: Evidence from the National Child Development Survey

Abstract: Using data from all those born in a single week in 1958 in Britain we track the consequences of short pain and chronic pain in mid-life (age 44) on health, wellbeing and labor market outcomes in later life. We examine data taken at age 50 in 2008, when the Great Recession hit and then five years later at age 55 in 2013. We find those suffering both short-term and chronic pain at age 44 continue to report pain and poor general health in their 50s. However, the associations are much stronger for those with chronic pain. Furthermore, chronic pain at age 44 is associated with a range of poor mental health outcomes, pessimism about the future and joblessness at age 55 whereas short-duration pain at age 44 is not. Uniquely, we also show that pain experienced in childhood, at ages 11 and 16, reported by a parent and a teacher respectively, collected decades earlier, predicts pain in mid-life, indicating just how persistent pain can be over the life-course.

Blanchflower, David G. and Bryson, Alex, (2021), The Consequences of Chronic Pain in Mid-Life: Evidence from the National Child Development Survey, No 21-28, DoQSS Working Papers, Quantitative Social Science – UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.

Happiness in the Lab: What Can Be Learned about Subjective Well-Being from Experiments?

Abstract: The recent surge in analyses of subjective well-being (SWB) and the economics of happiness using large observational datasets has generated stylized facts about the relationship between SWB and various correlates. Because such studies are mostly concerned with the determinants of SWB, the modeling utilized assumes SWB to be the dependent variable. Often, selection effects, reverse causality, and omitted variable bias cannot adequately be controlled for, calling many of the stylized facts into question. This chapter explores the important contributions that happiness-in-the-lab experiments can make to the debates about stylized facts by testing the causality of the relationship between SWB and its correlates. A distinction is made between happiness-in-the-lab experiments in which SWB is a dependent versus independent variable, and methods for both types of experiments are discussed, along with a discussion of the limitations inherent in such experiments. The extant happiness-in-the-lab literature is reviewed and future directions for happiness-in the-lab research are proposed. The important role that happiness-inthe- lab experiments can play in the development of national SWB accounting is emphasized.

Ifcher, John, Zarghamee, Homa and Goff, Sandra, (2021), Happiness in the Lab: What Can Be Learned about Subjective Well-Being from Experiments?, No 943, GLO Discussion Paper Series, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

The Abtitur class of 2020: From school to university without a prom – alone in front of the pc screen life satisfaction decreases

Abstract: Measures to contain the Covid 19 pandemic led to school closures shortly before and during the Abitur exams in Germany. Therefore, students from the final high school grade had to revisit their learning arrangements, i.e. shifting from onsite final exam preparation to home schooling and often from teacher guided learning to self-administrated learning. Simultaneously uncertainty about the timing of the final examinations increased because a public debate about when and whether at all final examinations should take place arose. Based on the BerO study of the Institute for Employment Research this report examines the overall life satisfaction, educational plans and the start in higher education and training programs of the 2020 Abitur cohort. The overall life satisfaction of the first “Corona Abitur” cohort decreased from 7.3 to 6.8 between the fall of 2019 and the fall/winter of 2020. The observed decline in overall life satisfaction is atypical. Normally, such decreases in overall life satisfaction occur after or during dramatic life events like wars (Coupe/Obrizan 2016), widowhood (Infurna et al. 2017), or after severe accidents that lead to disabilities (Oswald/Powdthavee 2008).

Anger, Silke, Bernhard, Sarah, Dietrich, Hans, Lerche, Adrian, Patzina, Alexander, Sandner, Malte and Toussaint, Carina, (2021), The Abtitur class of 2020: From school to university without a prom – alone in front of the pc screen life satisfaction decreases, No 202119, IAB-Kurzbericht, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].

Bien-être et diagnostic territorial : L’exemple de l’outil participatif Escapat en Drôme et en Ardèche

Résumé : Le bien-être des habitants est un des objectifs des politiques publiques. Aussi, est-il bienvenu de proposer des méthodes qui placent le bien-être au centre des diagnostics territoriaux. Cet article présente un outil cartographique participatif, nommé Escapat, de mise en œuvre d’un diagnostic territorial de manière collective. Il permet de déterminer les éléments essentiels de bien-être pour les habitants du territoire sur lequel il est utilisé. Dans cet article, Escapat est utilisé dans trois espaces ruraux isolés de la Drôme et d’Ardèche (France) auprès de groupes d’habitants. L’expérimentation de l’outil Escapat souligne sa capacité à activer la gouvernance territoriale en tant que support et espace de discussion entre habitants. Il révèle aussi les dimensions socio-spatiales du bien-être. De nouvelles questions émergent en matière de recherche et de prospective territoriale : logiques d’accumulation des éléments préférentiels de bien-être, disponibilité et nombre de services de la vie courante en milieu rural isolé.

Lise Bourdeau-Lepage et Lisa Rolland, « Bien-être et diagnostic territorial », VertigO – la revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement [En ligne], Volume 21 numéro 1 | mai 2021, mis en ligne le 17 mai 2021.

Time spent playing video games is unlikely to impact well-being

Abstract: Video games are a massively popular form of entertainment, socialising, cooperation, and competition. Games’ ubiquity fuels fears that they cause poor mental health, and major health bodies and national governments have made far-reaching policy decisions to address games’ potential risks, despite lacking adequate supporting data. The concern-evidence mismatch underscores that we know too little about games’ impacts on well-being. We addressed this disconnect by linking six weeks of 38,030 players’ objective game-behaviour data, provided by six global game publishers, with three waves of their self-reported well-being that we collected. We found little to no evidence for a causal connection between gameplay and well-being. However, results suggested that motivations play a role in players’ well- being. For good or ill, the average effects of time spent playing video games on players’ well-being are likely very small, and further industry data are required to determine potential risks and supportive factors to health.

Vuorre, M., Johannes, N., Magnusson, K., & Przybylski, A. K. (2021, October 11). Time spent playing video games is unlikely to impact well-being.