NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

How was the Weekend? How the Social Context Underlies Weekend Effects in Happiness and other Emotions for US Workers

John F. Helliwell, Shun Wang

NBER Working Paper No. 21374
Issued in July 2015
NBER Program(s):   IO   LS

In this paper we estimate the size of weekend effects for seven emotions and then explore their main determinants for the working population in the United States, using the Gallup/Healthways US Daily Poll 2008-2012. We first find that weekend effects exist for all emotions, and that these effects are not explained by sample selection bias. Full-time workers have a larger weekend effects than do part- time workers for all emotions except sadness, for which weekend effects are almost identical for all workers. We then explore the sources of weekend effects and find that workplace trust and workplace social relations, combined with differences in social time spent with family and friends, together almost fully explain the weekend effects for happiness, laughter, enjoyment and sadness, for both full-time and part-time workers, with significant but smaller proportions explained for the remaining three emotions - worry, anger and stress.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21374

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