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Little is known by economists about how emotions affect productivity. To make persuasive progress, some way has to be found to assign people exogenously to different feelings. The authors design a randomized trial. In it, some subjects have their happiness levels increased, while others in a control group do not. They show that a rise in happiness leads to greater productivity in a paid piece-rate task. The effect is large; it can be replicated; it is not a reciprocity effect; and it is found equally among males and females. They discuss the implications for economics.
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