Internet Use and Well-Being Before and During the Crisis in Europe
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The debate about whether Internet use increases or decreases subjective well-being is growing. However, previous studies rarely explore either this association at the time of financial crisis or the mechanisms by which contextual factors affect well-being. Using the four waves of the European Social Survey 2004–2010, this study examines the association between Internet use and well-being before and during the financial crisis in Europe which started in 2007. To understand how contextual factors explain individual well-being, we use multilevel model. We find that before the crisis, Internet use is not associated with well-being, in contrast with during the period of crisis. Beyond documenting the associations between Internet use and well-being, we find that using the Internet to respond to a situation of unemployment may help individuals for improved well-being. We also find that the density of Internet users in regions across Europe has positive and significant association with well-being. The results suggest that Internet use by individuals and the provision of the Internet access may be beneficial for maintaining well-being especially during the crisis.
KeywordsInternet use Well-being Crisis in Europe Multilevel model
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