Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 59–84 | Cite as

Consume More, Work Longer, and Be Unhappy: Possible Social Roots of Economic Crisis?

  • Francesco SarracinoEmail author
  • Małgorzata Mikucka


According to the Negative Endogenous Growth (NEG) model, economic systems are susceptible to economic crises because they produce wealth from the erosion of free and common goods, thus feeding unhappiness, decay in social relations, materialism, and excessive consumption. Our aim is to propose a framework to monitor NEG-type economic growth and to allow a more comprehensive understanding of the origins of the last economic crisis. We review the literature and the evidence supporting NEG, and we analyze data on people’s attitudes and values across countries and over time. We conclude that it is possible to monitor a set of social indicators to identify NEG-type economic growth which may increase the risk of future economic crises.


Negative Endogenous Growth Subjective well-being Social capital Materialism Working time 



This article reflects the view of the authors and do not engage in any way STATEC research, ANEC, and funding partners. Francesco Sarracino gratefully acknowledges the support of the Observatoire de la Compé titivité, Ministère de l’Economie, DG Compétitivité, Luxembourg, and STATEC. The authors wish to thank Stefano Bartolini, Luigi Bonatti, and Joshua K. Dubrow for their suggestions and advices. The authors gratefully acknowledge also the constructive work of two anonymous reviewers. The article was prepared within the framework of a subsidy granted to the HSE by the Government of the Russian Federation for the implementation of the Global Competitiveness Program. Possible errors or omissions are entirely the responsibility of the authors who contributed equally to this work.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut National de la Statistique et Des Études Économiques du Grand-Duché du Luxembourg STATEC ResearchLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.LCSR National Research University Higher School of EconomicsMoscowRussia
  3. 3.MZES Mannheim UniversityMannheimGermany
  4. 4.Université Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium

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