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Does the Internet make people happier?

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Author Info

  • Pénard, Thierry
  • Poussing, Nicolas
  • Suire, Raphaël

Abstract

Given the increasingly prominent role the Internet plays in people's daily life, understanding its influence on individual well-being is crucial. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns that may increase life satisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (e.g. addiction, social isolation). This paper aims to examine the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Using Luxemburgish data extracted from the European Value Survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for individuals who are young or not satisfied with their income. These findings suggest that public policies aiming to reduce the digital divide by reaching out to non-Internet users are socially desirable.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 46 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 105-116

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:46:y:2013:i:c:p:105-116

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

Related research

Keywords: Internet; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Digital divide; Social capital;

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References

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Internet makes you happy
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-23 14:43:00
  2. Does the Internet make people happier?
    by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-09-23 00:47:00
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Cited by:
  1. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2013. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," EconStor Preprints 88145, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
  2. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2014. "Online networks and subjective well-being," Econometica Working Papers wp54, Econometica.
  3. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2012. "Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age," MPRA Paper 42546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.

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