IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ecj/ac2002/81.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls

Author

Listed:
  • Gardner, Jonathan

    (University of Warwick)

  • Andrew Oswald

Abstract

The most fundamental idea in economics is that money makes people happy. This paper constructs a test. It studies longitudinal information on the psychological health and reported happiness of approximately 9,000 randomly chosen people. In the spirit of a natural experiment, the paper shows that those in the panel who receive windfalls -- by winning lottery money or receiving an inheritance -- have higher mental wellbeing in the following year. A windfall of 50,000 pounds (approximately 75,000 US dollars) is associated with a rise in wellbeing of between 0.1 and 0.3 standard deviations. Approximately one million pounds (1.5 million dollars), therefore, would be needed to move someone from close to the bottom of a happiness frequency distribution to close to the top. Whether these happiness gains wear off over time remains an open question.

Suggested Citation

  • Gardner, Jonathan & Andrew Oswald, 2002. "Does Money Buy Happiness? A Longitudinal Study Using Data on Windfalls," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 81, Royal Economic Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2002:81
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.org/res2002/Gardner.pdf
    File Function: full text
    Download Restriction: no

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Geeta G. Kingdon & John Knight, 2003. "Well-being poverty versus income poverty and capabilities poverty?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    2. Tangian, Andranik S., 2005. "A composite indicator of working conditions in the EU-15 for policy monitoring and analytical purposes," WSI Working Papers 135, The Institute of Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation.
    3. Namkee Ahn & Juan Ramón García, "undated". "Job Satisfaction in Europe," Working Papers 2004-16, FEDEA.
    4. 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.
    5. Ed Diener & Robert Biswas-Diener, 2002. "Will Money Increase Subjective Well-Being?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 57(2), pages 119-169, February.
    6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2004. "Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 393-415, October.
    7. Böhnke, Petra & Kohler, Ulrich, 2008. "Well-being and inequality," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Inequality and Social Integration SP I 2008-201, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    8. Mark Lutter, 2007. "Book Review: Winning a lottery brings no happiness!," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 155-160, March.
    9. 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.
    10. Maximo Rossi & Marisa Bucheli, 2004. "The level of satisfaction with life: evidence gathered among women from Greater Montevideo," Microeconomics 0407012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Eduardo Lora & Andrew Powell, 2011. "A New Way of Monitoring the Quality of Urban Life," WIDER Working Paper Series 012, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    12. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2004. "Income and Happiness: New Results from Generalized Threshold and Sequential Models," SOI - Working Papers 0407, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
    13. Geeta Gandhi Kingdon & John Knight, 2006. "Subjective well-being poverty vs. Income poverty and capabilities poverty?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1199-1224.
    14. Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2008. "Gross national happiness as an answer to the Easterlin Paradox?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 22-42, April.
    15. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2004. "Subjective Outcomes in Economics," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(1), pages 2-11, July.
    16. Drakopoulos, Stavros A. & Grimani, Aikaterini, 2011. "The relationship between absence from work and job satisfaction: Greece and UK comparisons," MPRA Paper 30990, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Binder, Martin & Broekel, Tom, 2008. "Conversion Efficiency as a Complementing Measure of Welfare in Capability Space," MPRA Paper 7583, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2008. "Happiness Adaptation to Income beyond "Basic Needs"," NBER Working Papers 14539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Eduardo Pérez-Asenjo, 2011. "If happiness is relative, against whom do we compare ourselves? Implications for labour supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1411-1442, October.
    20. Martin Binder & Alex Coad, 2009. "An Examination of the Dynamics of Happiness Using Vector Autoregressions," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecj:ac2002:81. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/resssea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.