The Contemporary Japan Group at the Institute of Social Science (ISS, or Shaken), University of Tokyo, welcomes you to a lecture by
Hiroshi Ono, Associate Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University, on
Welfare states and the redistribution of happiness
Thursday, Thursday, July 27 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Akamon Sōgō Kenkyūtō Room 549, Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo.
This seminar highlights recent developments in international and comparative happiness, with particular focus on work, marriage and family in Japan.
Our empirical study uses data from the 2002 International Social Survey Programme, with roughly 42,000 individuals nested within 29 countries, to examine the determinants of happiness in a comparative perspective. We hypothesize that welfare states redistribute happiness among policy-targeted demographic groups in these countries. The redistributive properties of the welfare states generate an alternate form of “happiness inequality” in which winners and losers are defined by marital status and income. We apply multi-level modeling and focus on public social expenditures (as percentage of GDP) as proxy measures of state intervention at the macro-level, and happiness as the specific measure of welfare outcome at the micro-level.
We find that aggregate happiness is not greater in the welfare states, but happiness closely reflects the redistribution of resources in these countries. Happiness is “transferred” from low-risk to high-risk individuals. For example, women with small children are significantly happier, but single persons are significantly less happy in the welfare states. This suggests that pro-family ideology of the welfare states protects families from social risk and improves their well-being at the cost of single persons. Further, we find that the happiness gap between high versus low-income earners is considerably smaller in the welfare states, suggesting that happiness is transferred from the privileged to the less privileged.
Hiroshi Ono (Ph.D. in sociology, University of Chicago) is Associate Professor of sociology at Texas A&M University. He is currently a visiting fellow at the University of Tokyo and Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). He has extensive international experience, having held professional and academic positions in the U.S., Japan, and Sweden. Prior to his current position, he was on the faculty at the Stockholm School of Economics where he was awarded the title of Docent (or second doctoral degree) in Economics. His research integrates sociology and microeconomics to study the causes and consequences of stratification and inequality, with applications in the areas of gender, family, education, and labor markets. His current work looks at patterns of career mobility in the Japanese labor market, and determinants of happiness in an international context. His papers have appeared in the American Sociological Review, Economics of Education Review, International Journal of Human Resources Management, Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Social Forces, and Social Science Quarterly, among others. (for more information please visit http://sociweb.tamu.edu/faculty.php?faculty_id=54 )
Contemporary Japan Group:
The ISS Contemporary Japan Group provides English-speaking residents of the Tokyo area with an opportunity to hear cutting-edge research in social science and related policy issues, as well as a venue for researchers and professionals in or visiting Tokyo to present and receive knowledgeable feedback on their latest research projects. Admission is free and advance registration is not required. Everyone is welcome.
For more information, please visit our website: http://web.iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp/cjg/
Gregory W. NOBLE (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ISHIDA Hiroshi (email@example.com)
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