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CSEF - Center for Studies in Economics and Finance

30 November 2014 – 0000
Sociability, Altruism and Well-Being

We provide non-experimental evidence of the relevance of sociability to subjective well-being by investigating the determinants of life satisfaction on a sample of Europeans aged above 49. Departing from the neoclassical Homo economicus paradigm of human behaviour, we document that voluntary work, religious attendance, helping friends/neighbours and participation in community-related organisations affect life satisfaction positively and significantly. Moreover, different combinations between actions and motivations generate differential effects on life satisfaction, thereby providing support to the importance of these specific ‘contingent goods’ and to the literature of procedural utility. Our empirical findings are confirmed in robustness checks including refinements of the dependent variable, instrumental variables and sensitivity analysis on departures from the exogeneity assumption