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Happiness and Productivity

Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto () and Daniel Sgroi

No 4645, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Abstract: The paper provides evidence that happiness raises productivity. In Experiment 1, a randomized trial is designed. Some subjects have their happiness levels increased, while those in a control group do not. Treated subjects have 12% greater productivity in a paid piece-rate Niederle-Vesterlund task. They alter output but not the per-piece quality of their work. To check the robustness and lasting nature of this kind of effect, a complementary Experiment 2 is designed. In this, major real-world unhappiness shocks – bereavement and family illness – are studied. The findings from (real-life) Experiment 2 match those from (random-assignment) Experiment 1.

Keywords: labor productivity; emotions; well-being; happiness; positive affect; experimental economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D03 J24 C91 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff, nep-exp, nep-hap, nep-hpe and nep-neu
Date: 2009-12
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Related works:
Journal Article: Happiness and Productivity (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Happiness and Productivity (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Happiness and Productivity (2008) Downloads
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