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LABORATORY EVIDENCE for EMOTIONAL EXTERNALITIES: AN ESSAY in HONOR of EJ MISHAN

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Original languageEnglish
Article number1640015
JournalSingapore Economic Review
Volume61
Issue number3
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 17 Aug 2015
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jun 2016

Abstract

Professor EJ Mishan was a world expert on the idea of externalities. In this paper, we provide evidence for the intuitive idea of "emotional externalities". These might be viewed as psychological spillovers from the well-being of one person upon the well-being of another. A new form of laboratory experiment is implemented. "Happiness" answers are elicited in the first few seconds of the experiment. Tragic life events - like family illness and bereavement - are then studied. The paper documents evidence consistent with a powerful caring-about-others effect. The paper's results also suggest an approximate equivalence between life-satisfaction data and happiness data.

    Research areas

  • experiments, happiness, life satisfaction, priming, Subjective well-being, surveys

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