174 – Un(comfortably) numb: hearing loss, relational goods and subjective wellbeing


Hearing and speaking are basic ingredients of relational goods (ie. local public goods generated by interactions among individuals) that are in turn crucial for subjective wellbeing.

We test our research hypothesis and show that hearing impairment reduces significantly the number of friends, social network connections and satisfaction from social networks which are the ingrediennts of relational life.

We as well prove empirically that poor hearing negatively affects self-assessed subjective wellbeing under the form of subjective survival probability, life satisfaction and life sense. We also document that the negative self-assessed impact of hearing impairment on life expectancy is overestimated by respondents since hearing loss has no statistical impact on mortality (consistently with predictions from medical science).

Keywords: hearing, relational goods, subjective survival probability, subjective wellbeing.