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Internet Use and the U-shaped relationship between Age and Well-being

Fulvio Castellacci and Henrik Schwabe
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Henrik Schwabe: TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo

No 20180215, Working Papers on Innovation Studies from Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo

Abstract: Extant research shows that the relationship between age and well-being is U-shaped. This paper investigates the effects of Internet use on subjective well-being over the life cycle. We argue that Internet use moderates the U-shaped relationship, affecting its turning point and slopes. We use the Eurobarometer annual surveys for the years 2010 to 2013, which provide rich information for close to 100,000 individuals in all European countries. The econometric analysis exploits exogenous variation in broadband Internet take-up across European countries, and presents 2SLS estimations for a recursive bivariate ordered probit model. The results provide support for our main hypothesis. Active Internet users have a different well-being pattern over the life cycle compared to other individuals. Specifically, we find that Internet users experience: (1) a more stable level and less pronounced decrease in life satisfaction in their younger adult life; and (2) an earlier and stronger recovery after the turning point of the U-shape.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-eur, nep-hap, nep-ict, nep-ltv and nep-pay
Date: 2018-02
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