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Happiness and Productivity

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Proto, Eugenio

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

  • Sgroi, Daniel

    (Department of Economics, University of Warwick)

Little is known by economists about how emotions affect productivity. To make persuasive progress, some way has to be found to assign people exogenously to different feelings. We design a randomized trial. In it, some subjects have their happiness levels increased, while others in a control group do not. We show that a rise in happiness leads to greater productivity in a paid piece-rate task. The effect is large; it can be replicated; it is not a reciprocity effect; and it is found equally among males and females. We discuss the implications for economics.

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 882.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:882
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