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The Sources of Happiness: Evidence from the Investment Game

  • Leonardo Becchetti

    ()

    (University of Rome Tor Vergata)

  • Giacomo degli Antoni

    ()

    (University of Milan - Bicocca)

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.

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Paper provided by Econometica in its series Econometica Working Papers with number wp13.

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Length: 23
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ent:wpaper:wp13
Contact details of provider: Postal: Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Edificio U9, Viale dell'Innovazione, 10, 20126 Milano
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