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Sociability, Altruism and Subjective Well-Being

Author

Listed:
  • Leonardo Becchetti

    () (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")

  • Luisa Corrado

    () (University of Rome "Tor Vergata")

  • Pierluigi Conzo

    () (Dept. of Economics and Statistics "Cognetti de Martiis", University of Turin)

Abstract

We provide non experimental evidence of the relevance of sociability on subjective wellbeing by investigating the determinants of life satisfaction on a large sample of Europeans aged above 50. We document that voluntary work, religious attendance, helping friends/neighbours and participation to community-related organizations affect positively and significantly life satisfaction. We illustrate the different impact that some sociability variables have on eudaimonic versus cognitive measures of subjective wellbeing. Our empirical findings discriminate among other regarding and self-regarding preferences as rationales explaining such behaviour. We document that different combinations between actions and motivations have different impact on life satisfaction thereby providing support for the relevance of these specific "contingent goods" and to the literature of procedural utility. Our findings are confirmed in robustness checks including refinements of the dependent variable, instrumental variables and sensitivity analysis on departures from the exogeneity assumption.

Suggested Citation

  • Leonardo Becchetti & Luisa Corrado & Pierluigi Conzo, 2013. "Sociability, Altruism and Subjective Well-Being," Econometica Working Papers wp49, Econometica.
  • Handle: RePEc:ent:wpaper:wp49
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoch, Stephen J & Loewenstein, George F, 1991. " Time-Inconsistent Preferences and Consumer Self-Control," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 492-507, March.
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    3. D.Dragone, 2005. "Incoerenza Dinamica ed Autocontrollo: Proposta per un'Analisi Interdisciplinare," Working Papers 549, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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    5. Hanming Fang & Dan Silverman, 2009. "Time-Inconsistency And Welfare Program Participation: Evidence From The Nlsy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1043-1077, November.
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    7. Ainslie, George, 1991. "Derivation of "Rational" Economic Behavior from Hyperbolic Discount Curves," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 334-340.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bechetti, Leonardo & Conzo, Pierluigi & Di Febbraro, Mirko, 2015. "Voluntary Work, Health and Subjective Wellbeing: a Resource for Active Ageing," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201511, University of Turin.
    2. Maria Bachelet & Leonardo Becchetti & Fabiola Ricciardini, 2015. "Not Feeling Well… (True or Exhaggerated ?) Health (un)Satisfaction as a Leading Health Indicator," CEIS Research Paper 336, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 02 Apr 2015.
    3. 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 & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2016-10, Henley Business School, Reading University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tsunami; sociability; altruism; other-regarding activities; other regarding motivations; life satisfaction; subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers

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