Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 747–767 | Cite as

Well-Being and Trust in the Workplace

  • John F. HelliwellEmail author
  • Haifang HuangEmail author
Research Paper


This paper uses life satisfaction regressions based on three surveys in two countries (Canada and the United States) to estimate the relative values of financial and non-financial job characteristics. The well-being results show strikingly large values for non-financial job characteristics, especially workplace trust and other measures of the quality of social capital in workplaces. For example, an increase of trust in management that is about one tenth of the scale has a value in terms of life satisfaction equivalent to an increase of more than 30% in monetary income. We find that these values differ significantly by gender and by union status. We consider the reasons for such large values, and explore their implications for employers, employees, and policy-makers.


Subjective well-being Life satisfaction Trust Workplace Job satisfaction Compensating differentials 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and Department of EconomicsUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of AlbertaEdmonton AlbertaCanada

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