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Are happier people better citizens?

journal contribution
posted on 2011-05-01, 00:00 authored by Cahit Guven
This paper offers new findings which support the hypothesis that a causal link from happiness to social capital might exist. The paper exploits the very long German socio-economic panel of around 15000 people. Using the prospective study methodology, it finds that happier people contribute more to social capital. Both parametric and nonparametric results suggest that there exists an inverted-U shape relationship between happiness to social capital. Moreover, optimism appears to be an important channel through which happiness is linked to social capital. The paper also presents residual happiness as a measure of optimism which might be a valuable tool for empirical researchers. The results are robust to inclusion of various controls including the initial level of social capital, random sampling, non-linearity, different measures of social capital, and estimation techniques.

History

Journal

Kyklos

Volume

64

Issue

2

Pagination

178 - 192

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Location

Oxford, England

ISSN

0023-5962

eISSN

1467-6435

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2011, Blackwell Publishing

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