Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Happiness and Productivity

Contents:

Author Info

  • Oswald, Andrew

    (University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Some firms say they care about the happiness and ‘well-being’ of their employees. But are such claims hype? Or might they be scientific good sense? This study provides evidence that happiness makes people more productive. First, we examine fundamental real-world shocks (bereavement and family illness) imposed by Nature. We show that lower happiness is associated with lower productivity. Second, within the laboratory, we design two randomized controlled trials. Some individuals are deliberately made happier, while those in a control group are not. The treated individuals have 10-12% greater productivity than those in the control group. These complementary kinds of evidence, with their different strengths and weaknesses, point to a consistent pattern. They suggest that happiness raises human performance.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/research/wpfeed/108.2013_proto.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 108.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:108

Contact details of provider:
Postal: CV4 7AL COVENTRY
Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Happiness; well-being; productivity; personnel economics.;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2007. "Lags and Leads in Life Satisfaction: A Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," CEP Discussion Papers dp0836, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  3. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  4. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  5. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Malcolm Patterson & Peter Warr & Michael West, 2004. "Organizational climate and company productivity: the role of employee affect and employee level," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19977, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2001. "Confidence-Enhanced Performance," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-023, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 May 2003.
  10. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2011. "Happiness and Time Preference: The Effect of Positive Affect in a Random-Assignment Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3109-29, December.
  11. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  12. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
  13. W. Stanley Siebert & Nikolay Zubanov, 2010. "Management Economics in a Large Retail Company," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(8), pages 1398-1414, August.
  14. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
  15. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  16. Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2008. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(S2), pages S217-S251, 06.
  17. Pugno Maurizio & Depedri Sara, 2010. "Job Performance and Job Satisfaction: An Integrated Survey," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 175-210.
  18. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  19. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2008. "Limited Attention and Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 489-93, May.
  20. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  21. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  22. Gneezy, U. & Rustichini, A., 1998. "Pay Enough - Or Don't Pay at All," Discussion Paper 1998-57, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  23. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  24. John Zelenski & Steven Murphy & David Jenkins, 2008. "The Happy-Productive Worker Thesis Revisited," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 521-537, December.
  25. Dickinson, David L, 1999. "An Experimental Examination of Labor Supply and Work Intensities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 638-70, October.
  26. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Rigotti, Luca & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Your morals might be your moods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 155-172, February.
  27. Oswald, Andrew J, 1984. "Wage and Employment Structure in an Economy with Internal Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 693-716, November.
  28. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 1999. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Systems on Economic Performance: An International Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Plants," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(5), pages 704-721, May.
  29. Paul Osterman (ed.), 1984. "Internal Labor Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026265105x, December.
  30. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  31. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
  32. Benjamin Hermalin & Alice Isen, 2008. "A model of the effect of affect on economic decision making," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 17-40, March.
  33. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence And Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915, August.
  34. M Patterson & P Warr & M West, 2004. "Organizational Climate and Company Productivity: the Role of Employee Affect and Employee Level," CEP Discussion Papers dp0626, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  35. Caves, Richard E, 1974. "Multinational Firms, Competition, and Productivity in Host-Country Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(162), pages 176-93, May.
  36. Carmit Segal, 2012. "Working When No One Is Watching: Motivation, Test Scores, and Economic Success," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1438-1457, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Are Happy People More Productive?
    by Ariel Goldring in Free Market Mojo on 2010-01-25 11:23:23
  2. The economics of bereavement
    by Chris Sampson in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2013-06-20 05:59:52
  3. Why not worker control?
    by ? in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-07-20 13:41:00
  4. 'Why Not Worker Control?'
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2014-07-20 08:46:53
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:108. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Snape).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.