Advertisement

Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 1117–1135 | Cite as

Are Relational Goods Important for People with Disabilities?

  • Ricardo PaganEmail author
Article

Abstract

This study investigates the effect of relational goods on the levels of life satisfaction reported by people without and with disabilities in Germany. Using longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel for the period 1984–2011 and creating a “Relational Time Index’ from the information gathered for five leisure activities (i.e., social gatherings, participation in sports, attending cultural events, volunteer work, and attending church), we estimate a fixed-effects model on life satisfaction for people without and with disabilities which allows us to control for unobserved individual effects and determine cause and effect between the key variables. The results show a positive and significant relationship between life satisfaction and the relational time index for all individuals. However, this impact is even stronger for people with disabilities than it is for people without disabilities. Furthermore, attending cultural events and social gatherings are key contributors to the life satisfaction scores reported by people with disabilities. Public policy recommendations are given.

Keywords

Relational goods Life satisfaction Disability Germany 

References

  1. Abbott, S., & Mcconkey, R. (2006). The barriers to social inclusion as perceived by people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 1(3), 275–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Amado, A. (1993). Friendships and community connections between people with and without developmental disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H Brookes.Google Scholar
  3. Bartolini, S., Bilancini, E., & Sarracino, F. (2013). Predicting the trend of well-being in Germany: how much do comparisons, adaptation and sociability matter? Social Indicators Research, 114, 169–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bates, P., & Davis, F. (2004). Social capital, social inclusion and services for people with learning disabilities. Disability and Society, 19(3), 195–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becchetti, L., Pelloni, A., & Rossetti, F. (2008). Relational goods, sociability and happiness. Kyklos, 61(3), 343–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Becchetti, S., Ricca, E., & Pelloni, A. (2009). The 60s turnaround as a test on the causal relationship between sociability and happiness. SOEP papers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research, n° 209. Available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1441901. Accessed 3 July 2015.
  7. Becchetti, L., Ricca, E., & Pelloni, A. (2012). The relationship between social leisure and life satisfaction: causality and policy implications. Social Indicators Research, 108, 453–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bruni, L., & Stanca, L. (2008). Watching alone: relational goods, television and happiness. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 65, 506–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burkhauser, R., & Schroeder, M. (2007). A method for comparing the economic outcomes of the working-age population with disabilities in Germany and the United States. Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies, 127(2), 227–258.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, A., & Oswald, A. (1996). Satisfaction and comparison income. Journal of Public Economics, 61(3), 359–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark, A., Diener, E., Georgellis, Y., & Lucas, R. (2008). Lags and leads in life satisfaction: a test of the baseline hypothesis. The Economic Journal, 118, F222–F243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Coleman, J. (1993). Social capital in the creation of human capital. The American Journal of Sociology, 94, 95–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Devine, M. A. (1997). Inclusive leisure services and research: consideration of the use of social construction theory. Journal of Leisurability, 24(2), 3–11.Google Scholar
  14. Devine, M., & Dattilo, J. (2001). Social acceptance and leisure lifestyles of people with disabilities. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 34(4), 306–322.Google Scholar
  15. Devine, M., & Lashua, B. (2002). Constructing social acceptance in inclusive leisure contexts: the role of individuals with disabilities. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 36, 65–83.Google Scholar
  16. Diwan, R. (2000). Relational wealth and the quality of life. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 29(4), 305–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. European Commission. (2010). European Disability Strategy 2010–2020: A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, no. 636 (15.11.2010).Google Scholar
  18. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., & Frijters, P. (2004). How important is methodology for the estimates of the determinants of happiness? The Economic Journal, 114(July), 641–659.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2000). Happiness, economy and institutions. The Economic Journal, 110(466), 918–938.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Frey, B., & Stutzer, A. (2005). Does the political process mitigate or accentuate individual biases due to mispredicting future utility? In E. McCaffery & J. Slemrod (Eds.), Behavioral public finance. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  21. Gui, B. (1987). Éléments pour une Definition d’ Economie Communautaire, Notes et Documents de l’Institut International Jacques Maritain Rome, Institut Internationale Jacques Maritain, nº 19/20, pp. 32–42.Google Scholar
  22. Gui, B. (2005). From transactions to encounters. The joint generation of relational goods and conventional values. In B. Gui & R. Sugden (Eds.), Economics and social interaction: accounting for interpersonal relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Helliwell, J. (2003). How’s life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective wellbeing. Economic Modelling, 20(2), 331–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Helliwell, J., & Putman, R. (2004). The social context of well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 359(1449), 1435–1446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Honneth, A. (1995). The struggle for recognition-the moral grammar of social conflicts. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  26. Kyle, G., & Chick, G. (2002). The social nature of leisure involvement. Journal of Leisure Research, 34(4), 426–448.Google Scholar
  27. Lucas, R. (2007). Long-term disability is associated with lasting changes in subjective well-being: evidence from two national representative longitudinal studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(4), 717–780.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Luskin, D., & Nicholson, N. (2009). Social isolation. In: Chronic illness: impact and intervention, chapter 5. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Meier, S., & Stutzer, A. (2008). Is volunteering rewarding in itself? Economica, 751, 39–59.Google Scholar
  30. Mendes de Leon, C., Glass, T., Beckett, L., Seeman, T., Evans, D., & Berkman, L. (1999). Social networks and disability transitions across eight intervals of early data in the New Haven EPESE. The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 54, S162–S172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nagler, M. (1992). The disabled: the acquisition of power. In M. Nagler (Ed.), Perspectives on disability. Health Markets Research: Palo Alto, CA.Google Scholar
  32. Nussbaum, M. (1986). The fragility of goodness: luck and ethics in Greek tragedy and philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. OECD. (2001). The well-being of nations: the role of human and social capital. Paris: OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.Google Scholar
  34. OECD. (2003). Transforming disability into ability. Paris: OECD Publications service.Google Scholar
  35. Olkin, R., & Howson, L. (1994). Attitudes toward and images of physical disability. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 9(5), 81–96.Google Scholar
  36. Oswald, A., & Powdthavee, N. (2008). Does happiness adapt? A longitudinal study of disability with implications for economists and judges. Journal of Public Economics, 92, 1061–1077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pagan, R. (2010). Onset of disability and life satisfaction: evidence from the German socio-economic panel. The European Journal of Health Economics, 11, 471–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pagan, R. (2012). Longitudinal analysis of the domains of satisfaction before and after disability: evidence from the German socio-economic panel. Social Indicators Research, 108(3), 365–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone. The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  40. Pye, L., & Pye, M. (1985). Asian power and politics: the cultural dimensions of authority. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Schiff, M. (2002). Love thy neighbor: trade, migration and social capital. European Journal of Political Economy, 18(1), 87–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schleien, S., Green, F., & Stone, C. (2003). Making friends within inclusive community recreation programs. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 2(1), 7–16.Google Scholar
  43. Shakespeare, T. (2006). Disability rights and wrongs. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Toepoel, V. (2013). Ageing, leisure and social connectedness: how could leisure help reduce social isolation of older people? Social Indicators Research, 113, 355–372.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Trainor, A. (2008). Using cultural and social capital to improve postsecondary outcomes and expand transition models for youth with disabilities. Journal of Special Education, 42, 148–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Uhlaner, C. (1989). Relational goods and participation: incorporating sociability into a theory of rational action. Public Choice, 62, 253–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Van Praag, B., Frijters, P., & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A. (2003). The anatomy of subjective well-being. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 51, 29–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Verbeek, M., & Nijman, T. (1992). Testing for selectivity bias in panel data models. International Economic Review, 33(3), 681–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wagner, G., Frick, J., & Schupp, J. (2007). The German socio-economic panel study (SOEP): scope, evolution and enhancements. Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies, 127(1), 139–169.Google Scholar
  50. Ward, L., Barnes, M., & Gahagan, B. (2012). Well-being in old age: findings from participatory research. Report by the University of Brighton and Age Concern Brighton, Hove and Portslade, UK. Available at: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/10631/1/Well_being_in_old_age_findings_from_participatory_research_full_report.pdf. Accessed 31 July 2015.
  51. Wilhite, B., & Shank, J. (2009). In praise of sport: promoting sport participation as a mechanism of health among persons with a disability. Disability and Health Journal, 2, 116–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. World Health Organization. (2011). World report on disability. Switzerland: World Health Organization Press.Google Scholar
  53. Zimmermann, A., & Easterlin, R. (2006). Happily ever after? Cohabitation, marriage, divorce and happiness in Germany? Population and Development Review, 32(3), 511–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Economics DepartmentUniversity of Malaga (Spain)MalagaSpain

Personalised recommendations