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Does the Internet make people happier ?

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Author Info

  • Thierry Pénard

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin)

  • Nicolas Poussing

    (CEPS / INSTEAD, CREM-CNRS)

  • Raphaël Suire

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin)

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 satisfaction. 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 social 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 characteristics, social capital, values and beliefs, and health and income. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for low income and young individuals. These findings suggest that public policy aiming to reduce the digital divide are socially desirable

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS in its series Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) with number 201106.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201106

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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. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2012. "Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age," MPRA Paper 42546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," MPRA Paper 53325, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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