Homeostasis and Well Being
AbstractThe paper suggests that maintenance of a homeostatic equilibrium provides a rationale for many actions of economic agents. Homeostatic equilibrium has physical, economic, emotional, psychological and environmental dimensions. The characteristics of this equilibrium include feelings of safety, trust, connectedness with friends, family and community, and a predictable and welcoming social and work environment. Individuals generally make decisions that help them move toward and achieve this state of equilibrium. Departure from homeostasis reduces well being and stimulates agents to take actions that will return them to a state of homeostasis. This hypothesis is tested with probit analysis using sample responses from the four waves of the World Values Surveys conducted between 1980 and 2002. Results generally support the homeostasis hypothesis. Variables that reflect departure from homeostasis such as divorce and poor health are highly significant, pointing to a reduction in well being. Variables that reflect the importance of friends, family, a trusting social and work environment have significant impacts to raise well being.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Singapore Management University, School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-2006.
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in SMU Economics and Statistics Working Paper Series
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare and Poverty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-08-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2006-08-26 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EVO-2006-08-26 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2006-08-26 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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