nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2011‒08‒22
one paper chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Does the Internet make people happier? By PENARD Thierry; POUSSING Nicolas; SUIRE Raphaël

  1. By: PENARD Thierry; POUSSING Nicolas; SUIRE Raphaël
    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 sa-tisfaction. 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 so-cial 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 charac-teristics, social capital, values and beliefs, and health and income. Moreover, the positive influence of Internet use is stronger for low income and young in-dividuals. 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
    JEL: A12 D12 D60 H40 L86 Z13
    Date: 2011–08

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