NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Social Capital and Prosocial Behaviour as Sources of Well-Being

John F. Helliwell, Lara B. Aknin, Hugh Shiplett, Haifang Huang, Shun Wang

NBER Working Paper No. 23761
Issued in August 2017
NBER Program(s):The Health Care Program, The Public Economics Program, The Political Economy Program

This paper surveys evidence documenting positive linkages among social capital, prosocial behaviour, and subjective well-being. Whether in the workplace, at home, in the community, or among nations, better and deeper social connections, and especially higher levels of trust are linked to higher subjective well-being, even beyond the effects flowing through higher incomes and better health. Prosocial behaviour is also shown to be a robust predictor of well-being in both correlational and experimental contexts. These two lines of research are connected, as prosocial acts are most likely to increase well-being when they are delivered in ways that improve social capital, and reflect intentional generosity free of either compulsion or personal gain. We infer that these deep links between prosocial acts and well-being have an evolutionary benefit in maintaining the quality of social capital and thereby delivering cooperative human responses in times of crisis.

download in pdf format
   (472 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23761

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Bacolod, Cunha, and Shen w23542 The Impact of Alcohol on Mental Health, Physical Fitness, and Job Performance
Lucas w23547 What Was the Industrial Revolution?
Albanesi and ┼×ahin w23743 The Gender Unemployment Gap
Hamilton, Helliwell, and Woolcock w22556 Social Capital, Trust and Well-being in the Evaluation of Wealth
Asquith, Hellerstein, Kutzbach, and Neumark w23959 Social Capital and Labor Market Networks
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us