Handbook on the Knowledge Economy, Volume Two
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Handbook on the Knowledge Economy, Volume Two

Edited by David Rooney, Greg Hearn and Tim Kastelle

Readers with interests in managing knowledge- and innovation-intensive businesses and those who are seeking new insights about how knowledge economies work will find this book an invaluable reference tool. Chapters deal with issues such as open innovation, wellbeing, and digital work that managers and policymakers are increasingly asked to respond to. Contributors to the Handbook are globally recognised experts in their fields providing valuable guidance.
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Chapter 4: Knowledge-based Economies and Subjective Wellbeing

Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht


Hans-Jürgen Engelbrecht INTRODUCTION Over the last few decades there has been an explosion of research on subjective wellbeing (SWB) and its correlates, with implications for economic and other policy areas (Frey and Stutzer, 2002). However, recent surveys indicate that much remains to be done. There is still a lot of contradictory evidence and issues of causality and unobserved variables loom large (Diener and Seligman, 2004; Dolan et al., 2008a). Also, it is not immediately obvious how the focus on SWB is related to the knowledgebased economy (KBE) literature. Layard (2005), for example, reports the consensus view that 80 per cent of the variation in happiness between countries can be attributed to six factors: the divorce rate; the unemployment rate; the level of trust; membership in non-religious organizations; the quality of government; and the fraction of the population believing in God. The KBE is not explicitly mentioned by Layard. However, he regards science and technology (S&T) as the prime source of the changes that have been responsible for stagnant average SWB levels in developed economies. The main argument put forward in this chapter is that any policy discourse for KBEs, or ‘knowledge policies’, should take into account insights from SWB research. I shall try to convince the reader of this by covering references from diverse literatures, focusing on some key features of KBEs and their relationship with SWB, such as the nature of work and innovation. The need for exploring the KBE-SWB nexus is heightened by the increasing number...

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