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Happiness and Productivity

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Author Info

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    ()
    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

The paper provides evidence that happiness raises productivity. In Experiment 1, a randomized trial is designed. Some subjects have their happiness levels increased, while those in a control group do not. Treated subjects have 12% greater productivity in a paid piece-rate Niederle-Vesterlund task. They alter output but not the per-piece quality of their work. To check the robustness and lasting nature of this kind of effect, a complementary Experiment 2 is designed. In this, major real-world unhappiness shocks – bereavement and family illness – are studied. The findings from (real-life) Experiment 2 match those from (random-assignment) Experiment 1.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4645.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4645

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Related research

Keywords: labor productivity; emotions; well-being; happiness; positive affect; experimental economics;

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References

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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
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