The Determinants Of Happiness: Social Life And Happiness

1985 Words8 Pages
2. Social life and happiness Besides economic determinants, not surprisingly people’s happiness significantly depend on the quantity and quality of social relations that individuals have with family, friends, workmates and fellow community members. As has been shown by Helliwell and Putnam (2004), if social capital is positive, people experience high subjective well-being. These so-called relational goods have a public good component as had been found by Becchetti et al. (2008) whereby one person’s involvement in social relations makes them more rewarding for others. There is empirical evidence that changes in social relations quality are capable of driving long-term trends in people’s reported subjective well-being (Bartolini (2012), Sarracino (2010)). With specific reference to marriage, some scholars report a positive relationship between socioeconomic factors and marital quality as the subjective evaluation of a married couple’s relationship with respect to a number of dimensions (Spanier and Lewis (1980)), while others observe a significant influence from economic hardship on marital instability (thoughtsactions regarding divorce). At the same time, there is evidence of differences in the determinants of satisfaction with marriage (or dissatisfaction). Sthephanie Coontz has been studying the history of marriage and in her “The world historical transformation of marriage” (2004) claims that it was for a quite long period of time a means to organize people’s position in
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