169 – Generativity and subjective wellbeing

We show that generativity, intended as the capacity of affecting positively other human lives, has a strong and significant effect on life sense and life satisfaction. We define three generativity dimensions: individual generativity power, local generativity power and individual generativity in act. We find that generativity in act (both in its leisure and work dimensions) has a positive and significant effect on subjective wellbeing.

The gross effect is however smaller than the net effect since generativity in act is negatively correlated with the internal locus of control (control over one’s own life).

Our findings have strong policy implications since generativity affects consumption and saving choices of utility maximizing economic agents and policymakers may create consensus by building generative societies.

Keywords: life satisfaction, wellbeing, life sense, generativity.