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Happy for how long? How social capital and economic growth relate to happiness over time

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  • Bartolini, Stefano
  • Sarracino, Francesco

Abstract

What predicts the evolution over time of subjective well-being? We correlate the trends of subjective well-being with the trends of social capital and/or GDP. We find that in the long and the medium run social capital largely predicts the trends of subjective well-being. In the short-term this relationship weakens. Indeed, in the short run, changes in social capital predict a much smaller portion of the changes in subjective well-being than over longer periods. GDP follows a reverse path, thus confirming the Easterlin paradox: in the short run GDP is more positively correlated to well-being than in the medium-term, while in the long run this correlation vanishes.

Suggested Citation

  • Bartolini, Stefano & Sarracino, Francesco, 2014. "Happy for how long? How social capital and economic growth relate to happiness over time," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 242-256.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:108:y:2014:i:c:p:242-256
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.10.004
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    1. T. Lakshmanasamy & K. Maya, 2020. "The Effect of Income Inequality on Happiness Inequality in India: A Recentered Influence Function Regression Estimation and Life Satisfaction Inequality Decomposition," Indian Journal of Human Development, , vol. 14(2), pages 161-181, August.
    2. Antonino Callea & Dalila De Rosa & Giovanni Ferri & Francesca Lipari & Marco Costanzi, 2019. "Are More Intelligent People Happier? Emotional Intelligence as Mediator between Need for Relatedness, Happiness and Flourishing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-12, February.
    3. Piekalkiewicz, Marcin, 2016. "Money, Social Capital and Materialism. Evidence from Happiness Data," EconStor Preprints 130185, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    4. Angeles Sánchez & María J. Ruiz-Martos, 2018. "Europe 2020 Strategy and Citizens’ Life Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(8), pages 2315-2338, December.
    5. Stefano Bartolini & Małgorzata Mikucka & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Money, Trust and Happiness in Transition Countries: Evidence from Time Series," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 87-106, January.
    6. Ana I. Moro Egido & Maria Navarro & Ángeles Sánchez-Domínguez, 2017. "Changes in Subjective Well-Being Over Time in Germnay," ThE Papers 17/05, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    7. Francesco Sarracino & Marcin Piekałkiewicz, 0. "The Role of Income and Social Capital for Europeans’ Well-Being During the 2008 Economic Crisis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-28.
    8. María Navarro, 2019. "Financial, Job and Health Satisfaction: A Comparative Approach on Working People," Societies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-17, April.
    9. Kaiser, Caspar F. & Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2018. "Different Versions of the Easterlin Paradox: New Evidence for European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 11994, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Sarracino, Francesco & O'Connor, Kelsey J. & Ono, Hiroshi, 2019. "Making economic growth and well-being compatible: evidence from Japan," MPRA Paper 93010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Christoph Glatz & Anja Eder, 2020. "Patterns of Trust and Subjective Well-Being Across Europe: New Insights from Repeated Cross-Sectional Analyses Based on the European Social Survey 2002–2016," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 148(2), pages 417-439, April.
    12. Francesco Sarracino & Kelsey J. O’Connor, 2021. "Economic growth and well-being beyond the Easterlin paradox," Chapters, in: Luigino Bruni & Alessandra Smerilli & Dalila De Rosa (ed.), A Modern Guide to the Economics of Happiness, chapter 9, pages 162-188, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    13. Tatiana Karabchuk, 2016. "The subjective well-being of women in Europe: children, work and employment protection legislation," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 15(2), pages 219-245, November.
    14. Lorna Zischka & Marina Della Giusta, 2016. "Helping without Trusting: Disentangling Prosocial Behaviours," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2016-11, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    15. Lorna Zischka & Mark Casson & Marina Della Giusta, 2016. "'Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.' A BHPS study of the interaction between giving and welfare," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2016-10, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    16. Gerasimos T. Soldatos, 2020. "Merit goods and excise taxation in quasilinear markets for complementary private consumption," Public Sector Economics, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 44(4), pages 551-566.
    17. O'Connor, Kelsey J., 2020. "The effect of immigration on natives’ well-being in the European Union," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 257-274.
    18. Francesco Sarracino & Marcin Piekałkiewicz, 2021. "The Role of Income and Social Capital for Europeans’ Well-Being During the 2008 Economic Crisis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 1583-1610, April.
    19. Maurizio Pugno & Francesco Sarracino, 2021. "Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation to protect the environment: correlational and causal evidence," Working Papers 2021-01, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza.
    20. Francesco Sarracino & Małgorzata Mikucka, 2019. "Consume More, Work Longer, and Be Unhappy: Possible Social Roots of Economic Crisis?," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 59-84, March.
    21. 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.
    22. Kelsey J. O'Connor, 2020. "Life Satisfaction and Noncognitive Skills: Effects on the Likelihood of Unemployment," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(4), pages 568-604, November.
    23. Mikucka, Malgorzata & Sarracino, Francesco & Dubrow, Joshua K., 2017. "When Does Economic Growth Improve Life Satisfaction? Multilevel Analysis of the Roles of Social Trust and Income Inequality in 46 Countries, 1981–2012," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 447-459.
    24. Easterlin, Richard A., 2016. "Paradox Lost?," IZA Discussion Papers 9676, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    25. María Navarro & Wiemer Salverda, 2019. "Earner Position and Job and Life Satisfaction: Do Contributions to the Household Income have the Same Effect by Gender and Occupations?," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 20(7), pages 2227-2250, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Easterlin paradox; Economic growth; Subjective well-being; Social capital; Time-series; WVS–EVS and ESS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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