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If not only GDP, what else? Using relational goods to predict the trends of subjective well-being

Bartolini, Stefano and Bilancini, Ennio If not only GDP, what else? Using relational goods to predict the trends of subjective well-being. International Review of Economics, 57 (2). pp. 199-213. ISSN 1865-1704 (2010)

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In the last decade, a lively interdisciplinary discussion has grown around the evidence that, in the long-run, people’s subjective well-being is not significantly correlated with income growth. In other words, GDP growth does not predict the long run growth of subjective well-being. In this paper, we argue that there exists a different predictor of subjective well-being that works pretty well: sociability, i.e. the quality and quantity of social relationships (also referred to as relational goods). More precisely, we illustrate the role of sociability as a predictor of well-being, presenting the available evidence at both the within-country and the worldwide level. In particular, we discuss recent evidence from US cross-sectional data (General Social Survey, 1975–2004), cross-country time series (World Value Survey 1980–2005), and German panel data (German Socio-Economic Panel, 1996–2007). We conclude by indicating the most relevant open issues and suggesting future lines of research.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1007/s12232-010-0098-1
Uncontrolled Keywords: Happiness; Social capital; Economic growth; Relational goods; Intrinsic motivations; Subjective well-being; Easterlin paradox; Life satisfaction; Sociability
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Research Area: Economics and Institutional Change
Depositing User: Caterina Tangheroni
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 12:12
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2018 12:12
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/3885

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