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Does the Internet make people happier ?

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

Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) from Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS

Abstract: As people are spending more time online, it is important to evaluate the impact of Internet use on individual well-being. Internet use yields direct utility and economic returns (e.g. better job, higher productivity) that may increase life satisfaction. But the Internet might also have detrimental effects (addiction, social isolation, e.g.). This paper empirically examines the relation between Internet use and subjective well-being. Using Luxemburgish data from a European social survey, we find evidence that non users are less satisfied in their life than Internet users. This result holds when we control for socio-demographic characteristics, social capital, values and beliefs, and health and income. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for low income and young individuals. These findings suggest that public policy aiming to reduce the digital divide are socially desirable

Keywords: Internet; happiness; well-being; digital divide; social capital; social values (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 D12 D6 H4 L86 Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hap, nep-ict and nep-soc
Date: 2011-07
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Related works:
Journal Article: Does the Internet make people happier? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Internet make people happier? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Does the Internet make people happier? (2011) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tut:cremwp:201106

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