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The Sources of Happiness: Evidence from the Investment Game

Author

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  • Leonardo Becchetti

    () (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Giacomo degli Antoni

    () (University of Milan - Bicocca)

Abstract

The present paper draws on data collected in an investment game plus a questionnaire to investigate whether happiness is affected by circumstances and/or outcomes of the game and to evaluate which motivations or preference structures (self-interested preferences, inequity aversion, altruism, warm glow, social-welfare preferences, trust or reciprocity) may explain such effect. Our result shows that the amount sent has significant and positive effect on trustors’ self-declared happiness. We interpret this finding by arguing that the happiness effect can be explained by the enactment of the “generating” (social welfare enhancing) power of the trustor’s decision. Characteristics of the investment game are such that the trustor has a value creating while the trustee only a redistributive power. This difference may explain why only trustors and not trustees are significantly and positively affected by their giving decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Becchetti & Giacomo degli Antoni, 2009. "The Sources of Happiness: Evidence from the Investment Game," Econometica Working Papers wp13, Econometica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ent:wpaper:wp13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Degli Antoni, Giacomo & Grimalda, Gianluca, 2016. "Groups and trust: Experimental evidence on the Olson and Putnam hypotheses," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 38-54.
    2. Sabatini Fabio, 2011. "Can a click buy a little happiness? The impact of business-to-consumer e-commerce on subjective well-being," wp.comunite 0076, Department of Communication, University of Teramo.
    3. 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, pages 1911-1927.
    4. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Gianluca Grimalda, 2013. "Optimistic expectations or other-regarding preferences? Analysing the determinants of trust among association members," Working Papers 2013/21, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    5. repec:eee:soceco:v:68:y:2017:i:c:p:62-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. L. Becchetti & V. Pelligra & S.F. Taurino, 2015. "Other-Regarding Preferences and Reciprocity: Insights from Experimental Findings and Satisfaction Data," Working Paper CRENoS 201514, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    7. Schoenberg, Eric J. & Haruvy, Ernan, 2012. "Relative performance information in asset markets: An experimental approach," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 1143-1155.
    8. Giacomo Degli Antoni & Fabio Sabatini, 2017. "Social cooperatives, social welfare associations and social networks," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 212-230.
    9. Koch, Christian, 2013. "The Virtue Ethics Hypothesis: Is there a nexus between virtues and well-being?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80054, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    11. Cubitt, Robin P. & Drouvelis, Michalis & Gächter, Simon & Kabalin, Ruslan, 2011. "Moral judgments in social dilemmas: How bad is free riding?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 253-264.
    12. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Fliessbach, Klaus & Sunde, Uwe & Weber, Bernd, 2011. "Relative versus absolute income, joy of winning, and gender: Brain imaging evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 279-285.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Investment Game; Social-welfare Preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values

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