IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Happiness and Productivity

  • Oswald, Andrew

    (University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (University of Warwick)

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    (University of Warwick)

Some firms say they care about the happiness and ‘well-being’ of their employees. But are such claims hype? Or might they be scientific good sense? This study provides evidence that happiness makes people more productive. First, we examine fundamental real-world shocks (bereavement and family illness) imposed by Nature. We show that lower happiness is associated with lower productivity. Second, within the laboratory, we design two randomized controlled trials. Some individuals are deliberately made happier, while those in a control group are not. The treated individuals have 10-12% greater productivity than those in the control group. These complementary kinds of evidence, with their different strengths and weaknesses, point to a consistent pattern. They suggest that happiness raises human performance.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/108.2013_proto.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 108.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:108
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CV4 7AL COVENTRY

Phone: +44 (0) 2476 523202
Fax: +44 (0) 2476 523032
Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2008. "Limited Attention and Income Distribution," Scholarly Articles 2907518, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Andrew E. Clark & Ed Diener & Yannis Georgellis & Richard E. Lucas, 2008. "Lags And Leads in Life Satisfaction: a Test of the Baseline Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages F222-F243, 06.
  3. Dickinson, David L, 1999. "An Experimental Examination of Labor Supply and Work Intensities," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 638-70, October.
  4. Petri Böckerman & Pekka Ilmakunnas, 2012. "The Job Satisfaction-Productivity Nexus: A Study Using Matched Survey and Register Data," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 65(2), pages 244-262, April.
  5. Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  6. John Ifcher & Homa Zarghamee, 2011. "Happiness and Time Preference: The Effect of Positive Affect in a Random-Assignment Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(7), pages 3109-29, December.
  7. M Patterson & P Warr & M West, 2004. "Organizational Climate and Company Productivity: the Role of Employee Affect and Employee Level," CEP Discussion Papers dp0626, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. W. Stanley Siebert & Nikolay Zubanov, 2010. "Management Economics in a Large Retail Company," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(8), pages 1398-1414, August.
  10. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  11. Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Death, Happiness, and the Calculation of Compensatory Damages," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 827, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  12. Clark, Andrew E & Oswald, Andrew J, 1994. "Unhappiness and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(424), pages 648-59, May.
  13. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  14. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 1999. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Systems on Economic Performance: An International Comparison of U.S. and Japanese Plants," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(5), pages 704-721, May.
  15. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
  16. DiTella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Preferences over inflation and unemployment: Evidence from surveys of happiness," ZEI Working Papers B 03-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
  17. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  18. Daniel Kahneman & Robert Sugden, 2005. "Experienced Utility as a Standard of Policy Evaluation," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(1), pages 161-181, 09.
  19. Olivier Compte & Andrew Postlewaite, 2004. "Confidence-Enhanced Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1536-1557, December.
  20. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Pugno Maurizio & Depedri Sara, 2010. "Job Performance and Job Satisfaction: An Integrated Survey," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 175-210.
  23. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete too Much?," Discussion Papers 04-030, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  24. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Rigotti, Luca & Rustichini, Aldo, 2006. "Your morals might be your moods," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 155-172, February.
  25. John Zelenski & Steven Murphy & David Jenkins, 2008. "The Happy-Productive Worker Thesis Revisited," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 521-537, December.
  26. Caves, Richard E, 1974. "Multinational Firms, Competition, and Productivity in Host-Country Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 41(162), pages 176-93, May.
  27. Graham, Carol & Eggers, Andrew & Sukhtankar, Sandip, 2004. "Does happiness pay?: An exploration based on panel data from Russia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 319-342, November.
  28. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  29. Daniel J. Benjamin & Ori Heffetz & Miles S. Kimball & Alex Rees-Jones, 2012. "What Do You Think Would Make You Happier? What Do You Think You Would Choose?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 2083-2110, August.
  30. Oswald, Andrew J. & Wu, Stephen, 2010. "Objective Confirmation of Subjective Measures of Human Well-being: Evidence from the USA," IZA Discussion Papers 4695, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. Andrew J. Oswald, 1984. "Wage and Employment Structure in an Economy with Internal Labor Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(4), pages 693-716.
  32. George Loewenstein, 2000. "Emotions in Economic Theory and Economic Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 426-432, May.
  33. Carmit Segal, 2012. "Working When No One Is Watching: Motivation, Test Scores, and Economic Success," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(8), pages 1438-1457, August.
  34. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2002. "Self-Confidence and Personal Motivation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 871-915.
  35. Benjamin Hermalin & Alice Isen, 2008. "A model of the effect of affect on economic decision making," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 17-40, March.
  36. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2000. "Pay Enough or Don't Pay at All," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 791-810.
  37. Roland Bénabou & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 489-520.
  38. Paul Osterman (ed.), 1984. "Internal Labor Markets," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026265105x, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:108. 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: (Jane Snape)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.