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Does the Internet make people happier?

  • Thierry Pénard

    ()

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie)

  • Nicolas Poussing

    (CEPS/INSTEAD - Centre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques / International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development - Centre d'Etudes de Populations, de Pauvreté et de Politiques Socio-Economiques / International Networks for Studies in Technology, Environment, Alternatives, Development)

  • Raphaël Suire

    ()

    (CREM - Centre de Recherche en Economie et Management - CNRS : UMR6211 - Université de Rennes 1 - Université de Caen Basse-Normandie)

Given the increasingly prominent role the Internet plays in people's daily life, understanding its influence on individual well-being is crucial. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns that may increase life satisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (e.g. addiction, social isolation). This paper aims to examine the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Using Luxemburgish data extracted from the European Value Survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for individuals who are young or not satisfied with their income. These findings suggest that public policies aiming to reduce the digital divide by reaching out to non-Internet users are socially desirable.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00864314.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Publication status: Published, Journal of Socio-Economics, 2013, 46, 105-116
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00864314
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00864314
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