Are Happier People Better Citizens?
AbstractThis paper presents evidence on causal influence of happiness on social capital and trust using German Socio-Economic Panel. Exploiting the unexplained cross-sectional variation in individual happiness (residuals) in 1984 to eliminate the endogeneity problem, the paper finds that happier people trust others more, and importantly, help create more social capital. Specifically, they have a higher desire to vote, perform more volunteer work, and more frequently participate in public activities. They also have a higher respect for law and order, hold more association memberships, are more attached to their neighborhood, and extend more help to others. Residual happiness appears to be an indicator of optimism, and has an inverse U-shaped relationship with social capital measures. The findings also suggest that the relationship between happiness and social capital strengthened in the world in the last decade.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 199.
Length: 51 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
happiness; trust; social capital; optimism;
Other versions of this item:
- D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
- O12 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2009-07-03 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-HPE-2009-07-03 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-LTV-2009-07-03 (Unemployment, Inequality & Poverty)
- NEP-SOC-2009-07-03 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Krause, Annabelle, 2012. "Don't Worry, Be Happy? Happiness and Reemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Jan Ott, 2013. "Science and Morality: Mind the Gap, Use Happiness as a Safe Bridge!," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 345-351, March.
- Cahit Guven, 2009.
"Reversing the Question: Does Happiness Affect Consumption and Savings Behavior?,"
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
219, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Guven, Cahit, 2012. "Reversing the question: Does happiness affect consumption and savings behavior?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 701-717.
- Cahit Guven, 2008. "Reversing the Question. Does Happiness Affect Consumption and Savings Behavior?," Economics Series 2008_20, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
- 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.
- Martin Rode, 2013. "Do Good Institutions Make Citizens Happy, or Do Happy Citizens Build Better Institutions?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 14(5), pages 1479-1505, October.
- Krause, Annabelle, 2013. "Don’t worry, be happy? Happiness and reemployment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 1-20.
- Jan Ott, 2010. "Greater Happiness for a Greater Number: Some Non-controversial Options for Governments," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(5), pages 631-647, October.
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