Happiness and Productivity

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 02.11.2010, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Andrew J. Oswald (University of Warwick)


We show 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 task. They alter output but not per-piece quality of work. To check the robustness and lasting nature of such effects, a second experiment is designed. Major real-world unhappiness shocks -- bereavement and family illness -- are studied. The results from (real-life shock) Experiment 2 are consistent with those from (random-assignment laboratory shock) Experiment 1.

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