Happiness and productivity

Oswald, A. J., Proto, E. and Sgroi, D. (2015) Happiness and productivity. Journal of Labor Economics, 33(4), pp. 789-822. (doi: 10.1086/681096)

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Some firms say they care about the well-being and “happiness” of their employees. But are such claims hype or scientific good sense? We provide evidence, for a classic piece rate setting, that happiness makes people more productive. In three different styles of experiment, randomly selected individuals are made happier. The treated individuals have approximately 12% greater productivity. A fourth experiment studies major real-world shocks (bereavement and family illness). Lower happiness is systematically associated with lower productivity. These different forms of evidence, with complementary strengths and weaknesses, are consistent with the existence of a causal link between human well-being and human performance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Proto, Professor Eugenio
Authors: Oswald, A. J., Proto, E., and Sgroi, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Economics
Journal Name:Journal of Labor Economics
Publisher:University of Chicago Press
ISSN (Online):1537-5307
Published Online:07 August 2015

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