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Revisiting Michael McBride’s experiment about “Money, happiness, and aspirations”

Author

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  • Abigail Barr

    () (Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford)

Abstract

In a laboratory experiment designed to test aspiration-based theories of happiness, McBride (2010) found no evidence of the predicted negative effect of own past payments on subjects’ satisfaction with their current round payments. This paper presents further analysis of McBride’s data that reveals such an effect. In the treatment where such an effect is most likely to be observed, subjects’ satisfaction with their payments in a given round is negatively affected by the level of payment they received the last time they faced the same payment probabilities. The overall trajectory of their payments when facing the same payment probabilities is also found to have an effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Abigail Barr, 2010. "Revisiting Michael McBride’s experiment about “Money, happiness, and aspirations”," Discussion Papers 2010003, University of Oxford, Nuffield College.
  • Handle: RePEc:cex:dpaper:2010003
    as

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    File URL: http://cess-wb.nuff.ox.ac.uk/documents/DP2010/CESS_DP2010_003.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Klemm, Marcus, 2011. "You Don't Know what You've got till It's Gone! Unemployment and Intertemporal Changes in Self-Reported Life Satisfaction," Ruhr Economic Papers 297, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Marcus Klemm, 2011. "You Don‘t Know what You‘ve got till It‘s Gone! Unemployment and Intertemporal Changes in Self-Reported Life Satisfaction," Ruhr Economic Papers 0297, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Marcus Klemm, 2011. "You Don't Know What You've Got till It's Gone!: Unemployment and Intertemporal Changes in Self-Reported Life Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 421, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. repec:zbw:rwirep:0297 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Satisfaction; Happiness; Adaptation; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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