Happiness, Health and Productivity <ul><li>Andrew Oswald </li></ul><ul><li>Warwick Business School </li></ul>
<ul><li>Average GHQ Psychological Distress Levels Over Time in Britain: BHPS, 1991-Today </li></ul>
<ul><li>Equivalent results have been found for adults in the Netherlands, UK and Belgium. </li></ul>
Worsening GHQ levels through time <ul><li>Verhaak, P.F.M., Hoeymans, N. and Westert, G.P. (2005). “Mental health in the Du...
<ul><li>Might this have something to do with work getting more stressful?  </li></ul><ul><li>[Yes] </li></ul><ul><li>Work ...
Proportion of High-Strain Jobs Green (2008)  Work Effort and Worker Well-Being in the Age of Affluence Source: Skills Surv...
<ul><li>A high-strain job is defined as having high required effort and low task discretion.  </li></ul><ul><li>[The defin...
<ul><li>Exactly how do we do this kind of work? </li></ul>
Using random samples from many nations: <ul><li>Researchers try to understand what influences the psychological wellbeing ...
<ul><li>What kinds of things do we find? </li></ul>
<ul><li>There is an intriguing life-cycle pattern </li></ul>
The pattern of a typical person’s happiness through life
This holds in various settings
This holds in various settings <ul><li>For example, we see the same age pattern in mental health among a recent sample of ...
The probability of depression by age Males, LFS data set 2004-2006 -0.01 -0.005 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 1938 1942 1946 195...
-0.014 -0.012 -0.01 -0.008 -0.006 -0.004 -0.002 0 0.002 1942 1946 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 D...
<ul><li>A time-series paradox: </li></ul>
Average Happiness and Real GDP per Capita for Repeated Cross-sections of Americans.
<ul><li>Happiness and mental well-being are of interest in themselves. </li></ul>
<ul><li>But there is another reason. </li></ul>
<ul><li>More broadly, there seem to be deep links between mind and body. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Happier human beings heal more quickly. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Author(s):  Ebrecht  M ,  Hextall  J ,  Kirtley  LG ,  Taylor A ,  Dyson M ,  Weinman  J   </li></ul><ul><li>PSYCH...
<ul><li>“ Every subject received a standard 4mm-punch biopsy, and the healing progress was monitored via high-resolution u...
<ul><li>“ Every subject received a standard 4mm-punch biopsy, and the healing progress was monitored via high-resolution u...
Ebrecht et al 2004 <ul><li>The overall results showed a significant negative correlation between speed of wound healing an...
<ul><li>In other words, happier human beings heal more quickly. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Moreover, success raises your lifespan. </li></ul>
Two Studies of ‘Winners’
Two Studies of ‘Winners’ <ul><li>#1 Redelmeier and Singh,  Annals of Internal Medicine , 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Oscar winn...
Two Studies of ‘Winners’ <ul><li>#2 Rablen and Oswald, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Nobel scientists live 1.6 years longer than ...
<ul><li>We need to understand these interconnections better. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Now to productivity. </li></ul>
With Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi
With Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi <ul><li>We have been studying how happiness affects human productivity. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In our lab experiments, happiness raises productivity by 12%. </li></ul>
<ul><li>But does this generalize? </li></ul>
Yes <ul><li>We also study the ‘natural experiment’ of bereavement and family illness. </li></ul><ul><li>These produce larg...
<ul><li>But how about high blood pressure as a  national  measure of well-being? </li></ul>
Across nations, hypertension and happiness are inversely correlated  (Blanchflower and Oswald, 2008  Journal of Health Eco...
<ul><li>It is known that heart rate rises under stress. </li></ul>
Stress comes in different forms
Stress comes in different forms
Stress comes in different forms
Stress comes in different forms
Stress comes in different forms
Stress comes in different forms
Stress comes in different forms
<ul><li>Stress happens sitting down. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Nicolas Troubat et al (2009)  European Journal of Applied Physiology </li></ul><ul><li>20 chess players – internat...
<ul><li>The computer standard was deliberately set one level higher. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The computer standard was deliberately set one level higher. </li></ul><ul><li>So all the players lost against the...
What happened?
What happened? <ul><li>Average heart-rate rose 11 beats a minute </li></ul><ul><li>On average, players used up 140 calorie...
Pulse and Money <ul><li>We find that for every extra £40,000 pounds a year, heart rate is 1 beat a minute slower. </li></ul>
Overall: <ul><li>There are deep connections between happiness, money and health. </li></ul>
Some ideas to end:
Conclusions <ul><li>#1   In the next century, new measures of human well-being will be required. </li></ul>
Conclusions <ul><li>#2   There are profound connections between mental and physical health -- also between happiness and p...
Conclusions <ul><li>#3   Heart-rate and blood pressure data have particular potential in policy design.  </li></ul>
Conclusions <ul><li>#4   Social scientists will, I believe, collaborate more with doctors and epidemiologists. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Ultimately, we are all interested in: </li></ul>
<ul><li>Happiness, Health and Productivity   </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Oswald </li></ul><ul><li>Warwick Business School </l...
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  • A high-strain job is defined as having high required effort and low task discretion. It is important for well-being and health, according to the Karasek demand-control model. The definition of low discretion is “at or below median”. High required effort is defined to be those who “strongly agree” that their job requires them to work very hard. With this definition, the proportion of high strain jobs rose in this period from a small beginning, roughly 1 in 11 jobs in 1992, to approximately 1 in 6 jobs (men) and 1 in 5 jobs (women) by 2001. After 2001 the proportion of ‘high-strain jobs’ remained stable for men but for women it rose still further to encompass a quarter of jobs. A remarkably similar growth pattern is found in Sweden, with the rise of high-strain jobs being more persistent for women than for men (Wikman, 2005). It is also interesting to note the findings of Gorman and Kmec (2007), that both in the US and in the UK women’s work effort is greater than men’s, which, they argue, reflects stricter performance standards for women.
  • Andrew Oswald

    1. 1. Happiness, Health and Productivity <ul><li>Andrew Oswald </li></ul><ul><li>Warwick Business School </li></ul>
    2. 2. <ul><li>Average GHQ Psychological Distress Levels Over Time in Britain: BHPS, 1991-Today </li></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><li>Equivalent results have been found for adults in the Netherlands, UK and Belgium. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Worsening GHQ levels through time <ul><li>Verhaak, P.F.M., Hoeymans, N. and Westert, G.P. (2005). “Mental health in the Dutch population and in general practice: 1987-2001”, British Journal of General Practice . </li></ul><ul><li>Wauterickx, N. and P. Bracke (2005), “Unipolar depression in the Belgian population - Trends and sex differences in an eight-wave sample”, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. </li></ul><ul><li>Sacker, A. and Wiggins, R.D. (2002). “Age-period-cohort effects on inequalities in psychological distress”. Psychological Medicine . </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Might this have something to do with work getting more stressful? </li></ul><ul><li>[Yes] </li></ul><ul><li>Work by Francis Green, Keith Whitfield, et al. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Proportion of High-Strain Jobs Green (2008) Work Effort and Worker Well-Being in the Age of Affluence Source: Skills Survey series
    7. 7. <ul><li>A high-strain job is defined as having high required effort and low task discretion. </li></ul><ul><li>[The definition of low discretion is “at or below median”. High required effort is defined to be those who “strongly agree” that their job requires them to work very hard.] </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Exactly how do we do this kind of work? </li></ul>
    9. 9. Using random samples from many nations: <ul><li>Researchers try to understand what influences the psychological wellbeing of </li></ul><ul><li>(i) individuals </li></ul><ul><li>(ii) nations. </li></ul>
    10. 10. <ul><li>What kinds of things do we find? </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>There is an intriguing life-cycle pattern </li></ul>
    12. 12. The pattern of a typical person’s happiness through life
    13. 13. This holds in various settings
    14. 14. This holds in various settings <ul><li>For example, we see the same age pattern in mental health among a recent sample of 800,000 UK citizens: </li></ul><ul><li>[Blanchflower and Oswald, Social Science & Medicine , 2008] </li></ul>
    15. 15. The probability of depression by age Males, LFS data set 2004-2006 -0.01 -0.005 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 1938 1942 1946 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 Year of birth Regression coefficient
    16. 16. -0.014 -0.012 -0.01 -0.008 -0.006 -0.004 -0.002 0 0.002 1942 1946 1950 1954 1958 1962 1966 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 Depression by age among females: LFS data 2004-2006Q2 Year of birth Regression coefficient
    17. 17. <ul><li>A time-series paradox: </li></ul>
    18. 18. Average Happiness and Real GDP per Capita for Repeated Cross-sections of Americans.
    19. 19. <ul><li>Happiness and mental well-being are of interest in themselves. </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>But there is another reason. </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>More broadly, there seem to be deep links between mind and body. </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Happier human beings heal more quickly. </li></ul>
    23. 23. <ul><li>Author(s): Ebrecht M , Hextall J , Kirtley LG , Taylor A , Dyson M , Weinman J </li></ul><ul><li>PSYCHONEUROENDOCRINOLOGY     </li></ul><ul><li>Volume: 29    Issue: 6    Pages: 798-809    Published: JUL 2004   </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>“ Every subject received a standard 4mm-punch biopsy, and the healing progress was monitored via high-resolution ultrasound scanning.” </li></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>“ Every subject received a standard 4mm-punch biopsy, and the healing progress was monitored via high-resolution ultrasound scanning.” </li></ul>
    26. 26. Ebrecht et al 2004 <ul><li>The overall results showed a significant negative correlation between speed of wound healing and GHQ scores (r = -.59; p < .01) </li></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>In other words, happier human beings heal more quickly. </li></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Moreover, success raises your lifespan. </li></ul>
    29. 29. Two Studies of ‘Winners’
    30. 30. Two Studies of ‘Winners’ <ul><li>#1 Redelmeier and Singh, Annals of Internal Medicine , 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Oscar winners live 4 years longer than those merely nominated. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Two Studies of ‘Winners’ <ul><li>#2 Rablen and Oswald, 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Nobel scientists live 1.6 years longer than those merely nominated. </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>We need to understand these interconnections better. </li></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><li>Now to productivity. </li></ul>
    34. 34. With Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi
    35. 35. With Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi <ul><li>We have been studying how happiness affects human productivity. </li></ul>
    36. 36. <ul><li>In our lab experiments, happiness raises productivity by 12%. </li></ul>
    37. 37. <ul><li>But does this generalize? </li></ul>
    38. 38. Yes <ul><li>We also study the ‘natural experiment’ of bereavement and family illness. </li></ul><ul><li>These produce large negatives on productivity in the lab. </li></ul>
    39. 39. <ul><li>But how about high blood pressure as a national measure of well-being? </li></ul>
    40. 40. Across nations, hypertension and happiness are inversely correlated (Blanchflower and Oswald, 2008 Journal of Health Economics )
    41. 41. <ul><li>It is known that heart rate rises under stress. </li></ul>
    42. 42. Stress comes in different forms
    43. 43. Stress comes in different forms
    44. 44. Stress comes in different forms
    45. 45. Stress comes in different forms
    46. 46. Stress comes in different forms
    47. 47. Stress comes in different forms
    48. 48. Stress comes in different forms
    49. 49. <ul><li>Stress happens sitting down. </li></ul>
    50. 50. <ul><li>Nicolas Troubat et al (2009) European Journal of Applied Physiology </li></ul><ul><li>20 chess players – international and national-level players. They all played against a computer. </li></ul>
    51. 51. <ul><li>The computer standard was deliberately set one level higher. </li></ul>
    52. 52. <ul><li>The computer standard was deliberately set one level higher. </li></ul><ul><li>So all the players lost against the computer. </li></ul>
    53. 53. What happened?
    54. 54. What happened? <ul><li>Average heart-rate rose 11 beats a minute </li></ul><ul><li>On average, players used up 140 calories playing the game </li></ul><ul><li>Overall, the physiological changes were “similar…those … in moderate physical exercise”. </li></ul>
    55. 55. Pulse and Money <ul><li>We find that for every extra £40,000 pounds a year, heart rate is 1 beat a minute slower. </li></ul>
    56. 56. Overall: <ul><li>There are deep connections between happiness, money and health. </li></ul>
    57. 57. Some ideas to end:
    58. 58. Conclusions <ul><li>#1 In the next century, new measures of human well-being will be required. </li></ul>
    59. 59. Conclusions <ul><li>#2 There are profound connections between mental and physical health -- also between happiness and productivity. </li></ul>
    60. 60. Conclusions <ul><li>#3 Heart-rate and blood pressure data have particular potential in policy design. </li></ul>
    61. 61. Conclusions <ul><li>#4 Social scientists will, I believe, collaborate more with doctors and epidemiologists. </li></ul>
    62. 62. <ul><li>Ultimately, we are all interested in: </li></ul>
    63. 63. <ul><li>Happiness, Health and Productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Andrew Oswald </li></ul><ul><li>Warwick Business School </li></ul>

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