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The sources of happiness: Evidence from the investment game

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  • Becchetti, Leonardo
  • Degli Antoni, Giacomo

Abstract

The paper draws on data collected in an investment game plus a questionnaire to investigate whether happiness is affected by the circumstances and/or outcomes of the game and to evaluate what motivations or preference structures (self-interested preferences, inequity aversion, altruism, warm glow, social-welfare preferences, trust or reciprocity) may explain that effect. Our results show that the amount given by trustors to trustees has a significant and positive effect on the former's self-declared happiness. To explain why only trustors and not trustees are significantly and positively affected by their giving decision, we argue that the happiness effect results from the trustor's internal satisfaction with his/her exhibition of trust or by a consequence of it, that is, the enactment of the "generating" (total payoff enhancing) power of the trustor's decision. The second interpretation hinges on characteristics of the investment game in which the trustor has a value-creating power while the trustee only has a redistributive power.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 498-509

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:4:p:498-509

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

Related research

Keywords: Happiness Investment game Social-welfare preferences;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Becchetti, Leonardo & Conzo, Pierluigi, 2011. "Enhancing capabilities through credit access: Creditworthiness as a signal of trustworthiness under asymmetric information," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3-4), pages 265-278, April.
  2. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Gianluca Grimalda, 2013. "Optimistic expectations or other-regarding preferences? Analysing the determinants of trust among association members," Working Papers 2013/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
  3. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2011. "Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era," MPRA Paper 34232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being," wp.comunite 0076, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
  5. Schoenberg, Eric J. & Haruvy, Ernan, 2012. "Relative performance information in asset markets: An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 1143-1155.
  6. Koch, Christian, 2013. "The Virtue Ethics Hypothesis: Is there a nexus between virtues and well-being?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80054, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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