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.

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

E. Bilancini;
2010-01-01

Abstract

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.
2010
Happiness; Social capital; Economic growth; Relational goods; Intrinsic motivations; Subjective well-being; Easterlin paradox; Life satisfaction; Sociability
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/4027
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