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 nds 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.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance in its series Economics Series with number 2009_04.
Date of creation: 14 Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood 3125
Phone: 61 3 9244 3815
Web page: http://www.deakin.edu.au/buslaw/aef/index.php
happiness; trust; social capital; optimism.;
Other versions of this item:
- Cahit Guven, 2009. "Are Happier People Better Citizens?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 199, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Economics; Underlying Principles
- 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-2009-07-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2009-07-28 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-HPE-2009-07-28 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-POL-2009-07-28 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2009-07-28 (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.
- 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.
- Krause, Annabelle, 2012. "Don't Worry, Be Happy? Happiness and Reemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 7107, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr Xueli Tang).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.