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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Becchetti, Leonardo & Rossetti, Fiammetta, 2009. "When money does not buy happiness: The case of "frustrated achievers"," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 159-167, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:1:p:159-167
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Selezneva, Ekaterina, 2011. "Surveying transitional experience and subjective well-being: Income, work, family," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 139-157, June.
    2. Isilda Mara & Michael Landesmann, 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," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2013008, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    3. Leonardo Becchetti & Elena Giachin Ricca & Alessandra Pelloni, 2009. "The 60es turnaround as a test on the causal relationship between sociability and happiness," Econometica Working Papers wp07, Econometica.
    4. 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: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(2), pages 383-404, November.
    5. Leonardo Becchetti & Alessandra Pelloni, 2013. "What are we learning from the life satisfaction literature?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 60(2), pages 113-155, June.
    6. Leonardo Becchetti & Luisa Corrado & Fiammetta Rossetti, 2011. "The Heterogeneous Effects of Income Changes on Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 387-406, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Fabio Zagonari, 2016. "Which Attitudes Will Make us Individually and Socially Happier and Healthier? A Cross-Culture and Cross-Development Analytical Model," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2527-2554, December.
    9. Nguyen Trung & Kimoon Cheong & Pham Nghi & Won Kim, 2013. "Relationship Between Socio-Economic Values and Wellbeing: An Overview Research in Asia," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 453-472, April.
    10. Wim Naudé & José Amorós & Oscar Cristi, 2014. "“Surfeiting, the appetite may sicken”: entrepreneurship and happiness," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 523-540, March.

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