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Does the Internet make people happier?

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Author Info

  • PENARD Thierry
  • POUSSING Nicolas
  • SUIRE Raphaël

Abstract

As people are spending more time online, it is important to evaluate the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns (e.g. better job, higher productivity) that may increase life sa-tisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (addiction, social isolation, e.g.). This paper empirically examines the relation between Internet use and subjective well-being. Using Luxemburgish data from a European so-cial survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. This result holds when we control for socio-demographic charac-teristics, social capital, values and beliefs, and health and income. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for low income and young in-dividuals. These findings suggest that public policy aiming to reduce the digital divide are socially desirable..

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CEPS/INSTEAD in its series CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series with number 2011-41.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irs:cepswp:2011-41

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Keywords: Internet; happiness; well-being; digital divide; social capital; social values;

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References

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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. 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.
  2. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2013. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," Department of Economics University of Siena 692, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  4. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2014. "Online networks and subjective well-being," Econometica Working Papers wp54, Econometica.
  5. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2012. "Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age," MPRA Paper 42546, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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