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Does the Internet make people happier ?

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  • Thierry Pénard

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin)

  • Nicolas Poussing

    (CEPS / INSTEAD, CREM-CNRS)

  • Raphaël Suire

    (University of Rennes 1 - CREM-CNRS, Marsouin)

Abstract

As people are spending more time online, it is important to evaluate the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns (e.g. better job, higher productivity) that may increase life satisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (addiction, social isolation, e.g.). This paper empirically examines the relation between Internet use and subjective well-being. Using Luxemburgish data from a European social survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. This result holds when we control for socio-demographic characteristics, social capital, values and beliefs, and health and income. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for low income and young individuals. These findings suggest that public policy aiming to reduce the digital divide are socially desirable

Suggested Citation

  • Thierry Pénard & Nicolas Poussing & Raphaël Suire, 2011. "Does the Internet make people happier ?," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201106, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
  • Handle: RePEc:tut:cremwp:201106
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    1. The Internet makes you happy
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-09-23 19:43:00
    2. Does the Internet make people happier?
      by UDADISI in UDADISI on 2013-09-23 05:47:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Pénard & Alexandre Mayol, 2015. "Facebook use and individual well-being: Like me to make me happier!," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201506, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    2. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2014. "E-participation: Social Capital and the Internet," Working Papers 2014.81, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2013. "Will Facebook save or destroy social capital? An empirical investigation into the effect of online interactions on trust and networks," Department of Economics University of Siena 692, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    4. Salahodjaev, Raufhon, 2014. "Can religion buy happiness? The case of Singapore," MPRA Paper 56777, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Commute time and subjective well-being in urban China," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 09-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    6. Mary Callaghan & Colette Kelly & Michal Molcho, 2015. "Exploring traditional and cyberbullying among Irish adolescents," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(2), pages 199-206, February.
    7. 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, vol. 48(4), pages 1911-1927, July.
    8. Peng Nie & Alfonso Sousa-Poza & Galit Nimrod, 2017. "Internet Use and Subjective Well-Being in China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 489-516, May.
    9. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:308-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso G. & Sabatini, Fabio, 2018. "Civility and Trust in Social Media," IZA Discussion Papers 11290, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Rotondi, Valentina & Stanca, Luca & Tomasuolo, Miriam, 2017. "Connecting alone: Smartphone use, quality of social interactions and well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 17-26.
    12. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2012. "Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age," MPRA Paper 42546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    14. Okuyama, Naoko, 2017. "The value of public service broadcasting in Japan: The life satisfaction approach," 14th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Kyoto 2017: Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society 168530, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    15. Salahodjaev, Raufhon, 2015. "IQ and the wellbeing of nations," MPRA Paper 66356, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. repec:eee:jbrese:v:82:y:2018:i:c:p:373-380 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Fulvio Castellacci & Henrik Schwabe, 2018. "Internet Use and the U-shaped relationship between Age and Well-being," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20180215, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    18. Smaranda Pantea & Bertin Martens, 2014. "The Value of the Internet for Consumers," JRC Working Papers on Digital Economy 2014-08, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internet; happiness; well-being; digital divide; social capital; social values;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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