Well-being, Happiness, and CSR (WHCSR)


Research Director: Prof. Leonardo Becchetti

The group of researchers involved in the Well-being. Ethics and Economics. The invisible pillars of the “wealth of nations” research activity includes Leonardo Becchetti, Luisa Corrado, Rocco Ciciretti, Giovanni Trovato, Paola Samà, Massimo Ferrari, Maurizio Fiaschetti.


Subjective well-being paradoxes highlight the existence of invisible pillars of the “Wealth of Nations” represented by multifaceted variables (reduction of poverty and social exclusion evaluated on a multidimensional basis, quality of life, stock of environmental and relational resources, intrinsic motivations, social norms and social capital, quality and access to education) which are not captured by national accounts and GDP measures but that nevertheless affect perceived individual well-being and the economic growth of nations. Assessing their role is of paramount importance to understand how to increase individual well-being in a context of limited environmental resources in order to reconcile economic growth and social and environmental sustainability.
The research group aims to deepen the understanding of the effects that the above factors have on individual well-being, by developing new multidimensional measures and by assessing the degree of their heterogeneous distribution. It also aims to assess how the reform of the financial system may contribute to bring back finance to serve effectively the real economy and how social capital and social norms can be influenced by the institutions, firms and different forms of interactions among agents (role of trust game) and their interplay with economic growth


The main research areas in which we are working and we worked in these years to achieve our overall research goal are: behavioural economics with randomized experiments, ethics and finance, corporate social responsibility and corporate performance, determinants and measurement of subjective wellbeing.
The group has participated to several PRIN research project in Italy and is part of a Mistra project involving 12 European Universities studying the stock market performance of ethical investment funds.


The research project is developed in a network working with Universities of Rome la Sapienza, Cassino, Siena, Milano Bicocca and Bologna. With the Italian National Statistical Institute and with many foreign partners including Prof. Andrew Clark (Paris School of Economics), Kaushik Basu (Cornell University) and Iftekhar Hasan Fordham University). A research project of the group on the stock market performance of ethical investment funds has been funded by Mistra and developed with a team including 13 Universities in Europe. 


The group together has collected a remarkable number of publications in top international journals in the fields of econometrics, statistics, economics and health economics with both applied and methodological contributions. Following is the list of main journals where articles have been published: Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Money Credit and Banking, Oxford Economic Papers, World Development, Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of International Money and Finance, Journal of Business Ethics, Economic Journal, Journal of Economic Geography, Economica, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Small Business Economics, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, Regional Studies, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Socioeconomics.