Comparing the Happiness Effects of Real and On-line Friends
AbstractA recent large Canadian survey permits us to compare real-time and on-line social networks as sources of subjective well-being. The sample of 5,000 is drawn randomly from an on-line pool of respondents, a group well placed to have and value on-line friendships. We find three key results. First, the number of real-life friends is positively correlated with subjective well-being (SWB) even after controlling for income, demographic variables and personality differences. Doubling the number of friends in real life has an equivalent effect on well-being as a 50% increase in income. Second, the size of online networks is largely uncorrelated with subjective well-being. Third, we find that real-life friends are much more important for people who are single, divorced, separated or widowed than they are for people who are married or living with a partner. Findings from large international surveys (the European Social Surveys 2002-2008) are used to confirm the importance of real-life social networks to SWB; they also indicate a significantly smaller value of social networks to married or partnered couples.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18690.
Date of creation: Jan 2013
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- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
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- Thierry Pénard & Nicolas Poussing & Raphaël Suire, 2011.
"Does the Internet make people happier ?,"
Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen)
201106, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
- Pénard, Thierry & Poussing, Nicolas & Suire, Raphaël, 2013. "Does the Internet make people happier?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 105-116.
- Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014.
"Online networks and subjective well-being,"
56436, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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