Newsletter de l’Observatoire du Bien-être n°49 – Janvier 2022

Bonne année à toutes et à tous !

Alors que cette rentrée 2022 se fait en France sous le signe du télétravail, notre première Note de l’année examine les conséquences du basculement vers ce mode d’organisation au Royaume-Uni en 2020.

L’analyse des conséquences de l’épidémie occupe à nouveau une place importante dans notre relevé des contributions ce mois-ci. Cette place ne doit toutefois pas masquer des évolutions de fond pour l’ensemble de la profession, comme la mise en place de megastudies, ou la diffusion progressive au du CV narratif comme antidote à la longue liste de fonctions et publications.


Adopter le télétravail ? L’impact du travail à distance sur le bien-être

Grâce à l’enquête britannique Understanding Society, nous pouvons examiner en détail les effets de la bascule vers le télétravail courant 2020. Le passage au télétravail a en moyenne un effet positif sur les personnes concernées, mais au prix d’un temps d’adaptation qui se lit dans la santé mentale générale et la perception de la capacité à se concentrer.

Guillaume Gueguen et Claudia Senik, « Adopter le télétravail ? L’impact du travail à distance sur le bien-être », Observatoire du Bien-être du Cepremap, n°2022-01, 03 janvier 2021.

Cette Note synthétise les principaux résultats du document de travail des mêmes auteurs.

Trust in scientists amidst the pandemic: Panel evidence from 12 countries

Abstract: During the Covid-19 pandemic, social compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions has varied within and across nations, and has generally decreased over time. This column uses data from 12 countries between March and December 2020 to show that trust in scientists plays a key role in compliance with and support for non-pharmaceutical interventions and willingness to get vaccinated, while trust in government has a more limited effect. However, when people associate scientists and scientific bodies with government action and political decision-making, it erodes their trust in these scientific institutions.

Yann Algan, Daniel Cohen, Eva Davoine, Martial Foucault, Stefanie Stantcheva, “Trust in scientists amidst the pandemic: Panel evidence from 12 countries”, VoxEU, 15 December 2021


Les solitudes en France – Un tissu social fragilisé par la pandémie – Rapport 2021

Résumé : Les mesures de distanciation sociale mises en place pour limiter la propagation du coronavirus en 2020 ont conduit à une forte fragilisation du tissu social. Sur le plan « quantitatif », en janvier 2021, 24% de la population est en situation d’isolement relationnel (vs 14% en janvier 2020, soit 10 points de plus), c’est-à-dire qu’ils n’ont eu aucune (ou uniquement de très rares) rencontres physiques avec des membres de leur famille, des amis, voisins, collègues de travail ou via des activités associatives. La hausse de l’isolement est généralisée, mais est plus marquée chez les personnes ayant des revenus faibles, les employés, les personnes au foyer ou les 25-39 ans. Les ménages justifient la diminution de leur vie sociale essentiellement par des raisons civiques et solidaires (davantage que par peur personnelle ou contrainte).

Solen Berhuet, Sandra Hoibian, « Les solitudes en France – Un tissu social fragilisé par la pandémie – Rapport 2021 », Sourcing Crédoc, SOU2021-4836, décembre 2021


No meaningful effects of COVID-19 related social media use on well-being

Abstract: In times of crisis such as the Corona pandemic citizens need to stay informed about recent events, the latest political decisions, or mandatory protection measures. To this end, many people use various types of media, and increasingly social media. However, because social media are particularly engaging, some find it hard to disconnect and cannot stop ‘doomscrolling’. In this preregistered study, I investigate whether using social media for COVID-19 related reasons affects psychological well-being. To answer this question I analyzed data from the Austrian Corona Panel Project, which consists of 24 waves with overall 3,018 participants. I ran three random effects within between models, controlling for several stable and varying confounders. Results showed that the effects of COVID-19 related social media use on well-being were very small, arguably too small to matter. The findings suggest that fears that social media use during times of crisis impairs well-being are likely to be unfounded.

Dienlin, T. (2021, December 3). No meaningful effects of COVID-19 related social media use on well-being.

The COVID-19 Pandemic, Well-Being, and Transitions to Post-secondary Education

Abstract: This study examines the immediate and intermediate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the well-being of two high school graduation cohorts (2020 and 2021). We also investigate how changes in well-being at the transition to post-secondary education affect educational plans and outcomes. Our unique panel data contain prospective survey information on three dimensions of well- being: mental health problems, self-rated health, and life satisfaction for 3,697 students. Data is collected several months before (fall 2019), shortly before and soon after (spring 2020), and several months after (fall/winter 2020/21) the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applying difference-in-differences designs, random effect growth curve models, and linear regression models, we find that school closures had a positive immediate effect on students’ wellbeing. Over the course of the pandemic, however, well-being strongly declined, mainly concentrated among the 2021 graduation cohort. Finally, we show that a strong decline in mental health is associated with changes in educational and career plans and transition outcomes. As adverse life experiences in adolescence are likely to accumulate over the life course, this study is the first to exhibit potential long-lasting negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and careers of young individuals.

Sandner, Malte, Patzina, Alexander, Anger, Silke, Bernhard, Sarah and Dietrich, Hans, (2021), The COVID-19 Pandemic, Well-Being, and Transitions to Post-secondary Education, No 14797, IZA Discussion Papers, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

Isolation and well-being in the time of lockdown

Abstract: In response to the Covid‑19 health crisis, the French government has imposed various measures, referred to as social-distancing measures, including a lockdown with the primary objective of reducing face-to-face interactions between people in order to limit the spread of the virus. This paper seeks to determine if the social-distancing measures and lockdown lead to social isolation for certain people and have an impact on French people’s well-being. First, it reveals that the feelings of social isolation have substantially increased in France during this lockdown. Second, it explores the factors that help to explain these changes by developing a predictive model and reveals that living alone, being a woman, being young are factors that explain this increase in felling of social isolation. Third, the estimation of the effects of changes in feelings of social isolation on changes in the reported level of well-being of French respondents during lockdown shows that people who reported feeling more socially isolated than others has the lowest levels of well-being among the French population; and that the increase in people’s feelings of social isolation during lockdown is a factor that has a negative impact on their level of well-being.

Bourdeau Lepage, L. and Kotosz, B. (2021) “Isolation and well-being in the time of lockdown”, REGION, 8(2), pp. 83–97. doi: 10.18335/region.v8i2.350.

The Psychological Gains from COVID-19 Vaccination: Who Benefits the Most?

Abstract: We quantify the impact of COVID-19 vaccination on psychological well-being using information from a large-scale panel survey representative of the UK population. Exploiting exogenous variation in the timing of vaccinations, we find that vaccination increases psychological well-being by 0.12 standard deviation, compensating for around one half of the overall decrease caused by the pandemic. This effect persists for at least two months, and it is associated with a decrease in the perceived likelihood of contracting COVID-19 and higher engagement in social activities. The improvement is 1.5 times larger for mentally distressed individuals, supporting the prioritization of this group in vaccination roll-outs.

Bagues, Manuel and Dimitrova, Velichka, (2021), The Psychological Gains from COVID-19 Vaccination: Who Benefits the Most?, No 14826, IZA Discussion Papers, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Lu sur le web

Megastudies improve the impact of applied behavioural science

Abstract: Policy-makers are increasingly turning to behavioural science for insights about how to improve citizens’ decisions and outcomes1. Typically, different scientists test different intervention ideas in different samples using different outcomes over different time intervals2. The lack of comparability of such individual investigations limits their potential to inform policy. Here, to address this limitation and accelerate the pace of discovery, we introduce the megastudy—a massive field experiment in which the effects of many different interventions are compared in the same population on the same objectively measured outcome for the same duration. In a megastudy targeting physical exercise among 61,293 members of an American fitness chain, 30 scientists from 15 different US universities worked in small independent teams to design a total of 54 different four-week digital programmes (or interventions) encouraging exercise. We show that 45% of these interventions significantly increased weekly gym visits by 9% to 27%; the top-performing intervention offered microrewards for returning to the gym after a missed workout. Only 8% of interventions induced behaviour change that was significant and measurable after the four-week intervention. Conditioning on the 45% of interventions that increased exercise during the intervention, we detected carry-over effects that were proportionally similar to those measured in previous research3,4,5,6. Forecasts by impartial judges failed to predict which interventions would be most effective, underscoring the value of testing many ideas at once and, therefore, the potential for megastudies to improve the evidentiary value of behavioural science.

Milkman, K.L., Gromet, D., Ho, H. et al. Megastudies improve the impact of applied behavioural science. Nature (2021).

La narration, nouveau format du CV de recherche ?

La Royal Society britannique a récemment proposé un format de CV narratif pour ses appels à projets. En lieu et place de la (longue) liste de postes et de publications, le CV narratif s’organise en quatre modules destinés à mettre en relief l’apport qualitatif de la personne à la recherche et à la société :

  1. Quelle a été votre contribution à la création de connaissances ?
  2. Quelle a été votre contribution au développement des individus ?
  3. Quelle a été votre contribution à la communauté scientifique ?
  4. Quelle a été votre contribution à la société dans son ensemble ?

Le principe est évidemment que les réponses tressent un narratif de l’activité de la personne. L’UKRI, qui a fédéré les Research Councils disciplinaires, a annoncé à la mi-décembre son intention d’adopter à son tour un format de ce style pour ses appels à projet.

Changes in Subjective Well-Being Over Time: Economic and Social Resources do Matter

Abstract: This article analyzes the main determinants of changes in subjective well-being over time in Germany distinguishing between long-term and short-term changes. Our findings for the long term indicate that social capital and values and cultural dimensions have the greatest capacity to predict changes in subjective well-being. Likewise, the correlation between economic resources and subjective well-being is weaker due to the small increase registered in household income and because people compare their income with those who are better off and feel envy. In the short term, economic resources have the highest capacity to predict both improvements (ups) and declines (downs) in subjective well-being. Finally, we also suggest that, whenever information is available, personality traits should be taken into account in the analysis of changes in subjective well-being over time in order to achieve more reliable estimates.

Moro-Egido, A.l., Navarro, M. & Sánchez, A. Changes in Subjective Well-Being Over Time: Economic and Social Resources do Matter. J Happiness Stud (2021).

Disability and happiness: the role of accessibility

Abstract: There exists a significant differential in life satisfaction between disabled and nondisabled people, to the disadvantage of the former. The present work considers both satisfaction and meaning of life (as different facets of happiness),investigating whether environmental accessibility mediates the relationship between disability and happiness. Furthermore, the effect of accessibility on the happiness of different categories of disabled is analysed. The environmental accessibility index is built using data from the 2012 Eurobameter survey on accessibility, while the rest of the variables come from the EU-SILC 2013, which includes an ad hoc module on well-being. Findings show that higher environmental accessibility narrows the happiness gap between disabled people and the rest, even after interaction terms between disability and economic status are introduced. Moreover, environmental accessibility has a greater impact on the happiness of older disabled people, while the opposite is true of disabled people in the highest income quartile.

Bellia, Asya, (2021), Disability and happiness: the role of accessibility, Discussion Papers, Dipartimento di Economia e Management (DEM), University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

The Happy Cultural Omnivore? Exploring the Relationship between Cultural Consumption Patterns and Subjective Well-Being

Abstract: This paper proposes a novel approach to explore the relationship between cultural participation and subjective well-being. While most empirical research has considered such a connection using cultural and leisure activities individually or in additive terms, drawing from the sociological literature, we adopt cultural consumption profiles emerging from the variety and intensity of engagement in different cultural activities simultaneously. Using data from the 2012 Italian Multipurpose survey on households “Aspects of daily life”, we first derive categories of cultural consumers through Latent Class Analysis and investigate how heterogeneity in cultural profiles is associated with overall life satisfaction and relevant domains (health, leisure, friendship relations, job and economic conditions). The results of our empirical analysis indicate a positive relationship between cultural participation and overall life satisfaction. Still, a more complex picture arises when considering all the statistically significant differences in life and domain satisfaction across cultural consumption patterns. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the role of cultural consumption habits on individual well-being and have implications for culture-led welfare policies.

Bertacchini, Enrico, Bolognesi, Valentina, Venturini, Alessandra and Zotti, Roberto, (2021), The Happy Cultural Omnivore? Exploring the Relationship between Cultural Consumption Patterns and Subjective Well-Being, No 14749, IZA Discussion Papers, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).