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Sociability, Altruism and Subjective Well-Being

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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 an alysis on departures from the exogeneity assumption.

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  • Becchetti, Leonardo & Corrado, Luisa & Conzo, Pierluigi, 2013. "Sociability, Altruism and Subjective Well-Being," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201314, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:dipeco:201314
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    1. Leonardo Becchetti & Pierluigi Conzo & Mirko Di Febbraro, 2018. "The Monetary†Equivalent Effect of Voluntary Work on Mental Wellbeing in Europe," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(1), pages 3-27, February.
    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. Francesco Sarracino & Marcin Piekałkiewicz, 0. "The Role of Income and Social Capital for Europeans’ Well-Being During the 2008 Economic Crisis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-28.
    4. 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 Discussion Papers em-dp2016-10, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    5. María Guadalupe Martino, 2020. "Civil Economy: An Alternative to the Social Market Economy? Analysis in the Framework of Individual versus Institutional Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 15-28, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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