53 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2009
The paper provides evidence 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 Niederle-Vesterlund task. They alter output but not the per-piece quality of their work. To check the robustness and lasting nature of this kind of effect, a complementary Experiment 2 is designed. In this, major real-world unhappiness shocks - bereavement and family illness - are studied. The findings from (real-life) Experiment 2 match those from (random-assignment) Experiment 1.
Keywords: labor productivity, emotions, well-being, happiness, positive affect, experimental economics
JEL Classification: D03, J24, C91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Oswald, Andrew J. and Proto, Eugenio and Sgroi, Daniel, Happiness and Productivity. IZA Discussion Paper No. 4645. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1526075
By Mark Huselid