Happiness, Productivity and Willingness to Compete (Job Market Paper)

Is happiness a necessary attribute of a successful employee? This paper analyses productivity and willingness to compete (WTC) as two measures of employee success. It conducts an online experiment on 645 respondents with real-effort tasks eliciting productivity and WTC for different levels of happiness. No effect of happiness is obtained despite sufficient statistical power. One explanation is that affective happiness does not shift behavioural preferences like risk aversion enough. In contrast, more established alternative features such as pay scheme and gender shift both behavioural preferences and objective outcomes significantly.

Link coming soon!

The Effect of Mass Shootings on Wellbeing (with Jakob Zeitler and Jan-Emmanuel De Neve)

Mass shootings are shockingly frequent and little-understood. To shed light on their impact, this paper estimates the effect of mass shootings on subjective wellbeing (SWB), mainly life satisfaction, in the US. Five shooting data sets containing a combined number of roughly 650 shootings are merged with the Gallup US poll (cross-sectional data) to create natural experiments for analysis. Regression analysis and a causal forest machine learning method serve as the main approaches. The results suggest that the effect is significant and negative but fades within days and is spatially limited. This suggests that communities show remarkable resilience to these tragic events.

Subjective Wellbeing and Behavioural Preferences: Evidence From Globally Representative Survey Data (with Jan-Emmanuel De Neve)