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Does the Internet make people happier?

Thierry Pénard (), Nicolas Poussing and Raphael Suire ()

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Abstract: Given the increasingly prominent role the Internet plays in people's daily life, understanding its influence on individual well-being is crucial. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns that may increase life satisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (e.g. addiction, social isolation). This paper aims to examine the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Using Luxemburgish data extracted from the European Value Survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for individuals who are young or not satisfied with their income. These findings suggest that public policies aiming to reduce the digital divide by reaching out to non-Internet users are socially desirable.

Keywords: Internet; Happiness; Life satisfaction; Digital divide; Social capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-ict, nep-net and nep-soc
Date: 2013
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Published in Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, 2013, 46, pp.105-116. 〈10.1016/j.socec.2013.08.004〉

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Journal Article: Does the Internet make people happier? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Internet make people happier? (2011) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Internet make people happier ? (2011) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2013.08.004

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