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When money does not buy happiness: The case of "frustrated achievers"

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  • Becchetti, Leonardo
  • Rossetti, Fiammetta

Abstract

An increase in real per capita income is generally expected to be associated with nonnegative variations in life satisfaction. The alternative (association with negative changes) is generally defined as "frustrated achievement" [Graham, C., Pettinato, S., 2002. Happiness and Hardship: Opportunity and Insecurity in New Market Economies. The Brookings Institution Press, Washington, D.C.]. We investigate the determinants of "frustrated achievement" in the German socioeconomic panel on more than 30,000 individuals collected between 1992 and 2004. We observe a parallel reduction in self-declared life satisfaction corresponding to almost one-third of yearly increases in (equalised) real household income. Our econometric findings show that the lack of a full-time job, health deterioration, relative income effects, marital status shocks and poorer social life are the main factors associated with this phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 159-167

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:159-167

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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Keywords: Life satisfaction Relative income Frustrated achievement;

References

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  1. Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "Money and mental wellbeing: A longitudinal study of medium-sized lottery wins," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 49-60, January.
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  13. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2002. "How important is Methodology for the Estimates of the Determinants of Happiness?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 02-024/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  14. Wu, Stephen, 2001. "Adapting to heart conditions: a test of the hedonic treadmill," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 495-507, July.
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  16. Robert Cummins & Richard Eckersley & Julie Pallant & Jackie van Vugt & RoseAnne Misajon, 2003. "Developing a National Index of Subjective Wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 64(2), pages 159-190, November.
  17. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2002. "Self-rated economic welfare in Russia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(8), pages 1453-1473, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Leonardo Becchetti & Luisa Corrado & Fiammetta Rossetti, 2011. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Income Changes on Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 387-406, December.
  2. Becchetti, Leonardo & Pelloni , Alessandra, 2010. "What are we learning from the life satisfaction literature?," AICCON Working Papers 76-2010, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.
  3. Ekaterina Selezneva, 2010. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being : Income, work, family," Working Papers 279, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
  4. Naudé, Wim & Amoros, José Ernesto & Cristi, Oscar, 2012. ""Surfeiting, the appetite may sicken": Entrepreneurship and the happiness of nations," MERIT Working Papers 013, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  5. Wim Naudé & José Ernesto Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2011. "‘Surfeiting, The Appetite May Sicken’: Entrepreneurship and the Happiness of Nations," Working Papers 2011/07, Maastricht School of Management.
  6. Michael Landesmann & Isilda Mara, 2013. "Do I Stay because I am Happy or am I Happy because I Stay? Life Satisfaction in Migration, and the Decision to Stay Permanently, Return and Out-migrate," wiiw Working Papers 103, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
  7. Nguyen Trung & Kimoon Cheong & Pham Nghi & Won Kim, 2013. "Relationship Between Socio-Economic Values and Wellbeing: An Overview Research in Asia," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 453-472, April.
  8. Analia Olgiati & Rocio Calvo & Lisa Berkman, 2013. "Are Migrants Going Up a Blind Alley? Economic Migration and Life Satisfaction around the World: Cross-National Evidence from Europe, North America and Australia," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 383-404, November.

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