IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bla/kyklos/v70y2017i3p456-480.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being

Author

Listed:
  • Fabio Sabatini
  • Francesco Sarracino

Abstract

Does Facebook make people lonely and unhappy? Empirical studies have produced conflicting results about the effect of social networking sites (SNS) use on individual welfare. We use a representative sample of the Italian population to investigate how actual and virtual networks of social relationships influence subjective well-being (SWB). We find a significantly negative correlation between online networking and self-reported happiness. We address endogeneity in online networking by exploiting technological characteristics of the pre-existing voice telecommunication infrastructures that exogenously determined the availability of broadband for high-speed Internet. We try to further disentangle the direct effect of SNS use on well-being from the indirect effect possibly caused by the impact of SNS’s on trust and sociability in a SEM analysis. We find that online networking plays a positive role in SWB through its impact on physical interactions. On the other hand, SNS use is associated with lower social trust, which is in turn positively correlated with SWB. The overall effect of networking on individual welfare is significantly negative.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:3:p:456-480
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/kykl.12145
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guiso, Luigi & Sapienza, Paola & Zingales, Luigi, 2010. "Civic Capital as the Missing Link," CEPR Discussion Papers 7757, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Frey, Bruno S. & Benesch, Christine & Stutzer, Alois, 2007. "Does watching TV make us happy?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 283-313, June.
    3. Oliver Falck & Robert Gold & Stephan Heblich, 2014. "E-lections: Voting Behavior and the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2238-2265, July.
    4. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2014. "Bowling alone but tweeting together: the evolution of human interaction in the social networking era," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 1911-1927, July.
    5. Christian Bjornskov, 2003. "The Happy Few: Cross--Country Evidence on Social Capital and Life Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(1), pages 3-16, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    8. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
    9. Fiorillo, Damiano & Sabatini, Fabio, 2015. "Structural social capital and health in Italy," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 129-142.
    10. Katarzyna Growiec & Jakub Growiec, 2016. "Bridging Social Capital and Individual Earnings: Evidence for an Inverted U," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 601-631, June.
    11. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Online social networks and trust," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2015/04, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    12. Andrew E. Clark & Sarah Flèche & Claudia Senik, 2012. "The Great Happiness Moderation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 468, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    14. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Maurizio Pugno, 2008. "Did the Decline in Social Capital Depress Americans’ Happiness?," Department of Economics University of Siena 540, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    15. Efstratia Arampatzi & Martijn J. Burger & Natallia Novik, 2018. "Social Network Sites, Individual Social Capital and Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 99-122, January.
    16. Alexander M. Danzer & Hulya Ulku, 2011. "Integration, Social Networks and Economic Success of Immigrants: A Case Study of the Turkish Community in Berlin," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 342-365, August.
    17. Leonardo Becchetti & Alessandra Pelloni & Fiammetta Rossetti, 2008. "Relational Goods, Sociability, and Happiness," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 343-363, August.
    18. Antoci, Angelo & Delfino, Alexia & Paglieri, Fabio & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Sabatini, Fabio, 2016. "Civility vs. incivility in online social interactions: an evolutionary approach," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68800, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    19. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
    20. Bruni, Luigino & Stanca, Luca, 2008. "Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 506-528, March.
    21. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
    22. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D’Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi, 2013. "Poverty and Well-Being: Panel Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 291, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    23. Isamu Yamamoto & Kazuyasu Sakamoto, 2012. "What motivates volunteer work in an emergency? Evidence from the 2011 East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(3), pages 1933-1941.
    24. Helliwell, John F., 2003. "How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
    25. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(8), pages 1733-1749, April.
    26. Antoci, Angelo & Sabatini, Fabio & Sodini, Mauro, 2012. "See you on Facebook! A framework for analyzing the role of computer-mediated interaction in the evolution of social capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 541-547.
    27. Thierry Pénard & Nicolas Poussing, 2010. "Internet Use and Social Capital: The Strength of Virtual Ties," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 569-595.
    28. Asimina Christoforou, 2011. "Social Capital Across European Countries: Individual and Aggregate Determinants of Group Membership," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 699-728, July.
    29. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-1288.
    30. Lee Sproull & Sara Kiesler, 1986. "Reducing Social Context Cues: Electronic Mail in Organizational Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(11), pages 1492-1512, November.
    31. Di Tella, Rafael & Haisken-De New, John & MacCulloch, Robert, 2010. "Happiness adaptation to income and to status in an individual panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 834-852, December.
    32. Steffen Lohmann, 2015. "Information technologies and subjective well-being: does the Internet raise material aspirations?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 740-759.
    33. Fabio Sabatini, 2008. "Social Capital and the Quality of Economic Development," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 466-499, August.
    34. Churchill, Gilbert A, Jr & Moschis, George P, 1979. " Television and Interpersonal Influences on Adolescent Consumer Learning," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 23-35, June.
    35. Smith, Ian & Sawkins, John W & Seaman, Paul T, 1998. "The Economics of Religious Participation: A Cross-Country Study," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 25-43.
    36. Matthew O. Jackson & Tomas Rodriguez-Barraquer & Xu Tan, 2012. "Social Capital and Social Quilts: Network Patterns of Favor Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1857-1897, August.
    37. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2010. "Inherited Trust and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2060-2092, December.
    38. Eiji Yamamura, 2016. "Natural disasters and social capital formation: The impact of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95, pages 143-164, March.
    39. Thierry Pénard & Alexandre Mayol, 2015. "Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201506, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    40. Becchetti, Leonardo & Degli Antoni, Giacomo, 2010. "The sources of happiness: Evidence from the investment game," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 498-509, August.
    41. Tony H Grubesic & Mark W Horner, 2006. "Deconstructing the Divide: Extending Broadband xDSL Services to the Periphery," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 33(5), pages 685-704, October.
    42. Sabatini, Fabio, 2014. "The relationship between happiness and health: Evidence from Italy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 178-187.
    43. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "E-participation: social capital and the Internet," MPRA Paper 55722, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    44. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1982:72:8:800-808_7 is not listed on IDEAS
    45. Leann Schneider & Ulrich Schimmack, 2009. "Self-Informant Agreement in Well-Being Ratings: A Meta-Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 94(3), pages 363-376, December.
    46. Luigino Bruni & Pier Luigi Porta (ed.), 2007. "Handbook on the Economics of Happiness," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3437.
    47. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2013. "Comparing the Happiness Effects of Real and On-line Friends," NBER Working Papers 18690, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    48. repec:cup:apsrev:v:99:y:2005:i:01:p:1-15_05 is not listed on IDEAS
    49. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
    50. Bartolini, Stefano & Sarracino, Francesco, 2015. "The Dark Side of Chinese Growth: Declining Social Capital and Well-Being in Times of Economic Boom," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 333-351.
    51. Degli Antoni, Giacomo, 2009. "Does satisfaction matter? A microeconomic empirical analysis of the effect of social relations on economic welfare," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 301-309, March.
    52. Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2010. "How much does money really matter? Estimating the causal effects of income on happiness," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 77-92, August.
    53. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
    54. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2002. "Who trusts others?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 207-234, August.
    55. 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.
    56. Grubesic, Tony H., 0. "The spatial distribution of broadband providers in the United States: 1999-2004," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 212-233, April.
    57. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Ludger Wößmann, 2011. "Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseen Technological Mistake," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 392, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    58. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D’Ambrosio & Simone Ghislandi, 2013. "Poverty and Well-Being: Panel Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 291, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    59. Ulrich Schimmack & Peter Krause & Gert Wagner & Jürgen Schupp, 2010. "Stability and Change of Well Being: An Experimentally Enhanced Latent State-Trait-Error Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 19-31, January.
    60. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2012. "Recent Developments in the Economics of Happiness: A Selective Overview," IZA Discussion Papers 7078, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    61. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
    62. Nina Czernich, 2012. "Broadband Internet and Political Participation: Evidence for G ermany," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 31-52, February.
    63. Stefano Bartolini & Ennio Bilancini & Maurizio Pugno, 2013. "Did the Decline in Social Connections Depress Americans’ Happiness?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 1033-1059, February.
    64. Gamba, Astrid, 2013. "Learning and evolution of altruistic preferences in the Centipede Game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 112-117.
    65. Michael A. Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price, 2005. "Exploring the economic and social determinants of psychological well-being and perceived social support in England," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 513-537.
    66. Sarracino, Francesco, 2010. "Social capital and subjective well-being trends: Comparing 11 western European countries," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 482-517, August.
    67. Edward L. Glaeser & David Laibson & Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "An Economic Approach to Social Capital," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 437-458, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini, 2018. "Online networks, social interaction and segregation: an evolutionary approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 859-883, September.
    2. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    3. Fumarco, Luca & Baert, Stijn, 2018. "Relative Age Effect on European Adolescents’ Social Network," GLO Discussion Paper Series 277, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Angelo Antoci & Alexia Delfino & Fabio Paglieri & Fabio Sabatini, 2016. "The ecology of social interactions in online and offline environments," Papers 1601.07776, arXiv.org.
    5. repec:spr:inrvec:v:65:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12232-017-0290-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Civility and Trust in Social Media," IZA Discussion Papers 11290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-015-1227-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Solferino, Nazaria & Solferino, Viviana & Taurino, SerenaFiona, 2018. "Quantum entanglement and the emergence of collaboration in social media," MPRA Paper 86228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2016. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do Online Social Networks Raise Social Comparisons?," Working Papers 2016.32, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. Geraci, Andrea & Nardotto, Mattia & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Broadband Internet and Social Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 11855, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Peng Nie & Alfonso Sousa-Poza & Galit Nimrod, 2017. "Internet Use and Subjective Well-Being in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 489-516, May.
    12. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9794-x is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    14. Fulvio Castellacci & Henrik Schwabe, 2018. "Internet Use and the U-shaped relationship between Age and Well-being," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20180215, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C36 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:3:p:456-480. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley Content Delivery) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0023-5962 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.