In a new study, mathematical economist Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer, from the Hausdorff Center for Mathematics at the University of Bonn, has demonstrated a connection between long-term income increases and personal satisfaction. Overtime also affects personal levels of happiness – but in a negative way. His findings will be presented in the latest issue of the “American Economic Journal”.
Does money bring happiness? A study by Professor Christian Bayer from the University of Bonn provides new answers to this often-discussed question. In the project, Prof. Bayer worked with his colleague Prof. Falko Jüssen from Bergische Universitaet Wuppertal to research how increased income and workload influenced overall life satisfaction.
Their findings were clear: more money does make people happier – but only if there is a long-term increase in income. A temporary increase does not have any noticeable effect on an employee’s level of happiness, even if it is a large increase. By contrast, a permanent increase in income results in a significant rise in well-being, even if the raise is small.
Those who consistently have more work are less happy
The researchers identified a second important way in which professional life influences personal happiness: the number of hours that employees work. “Those who consistently have to work more become less happy,” says Prof. Bayer, an instructor and researcher at the Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics at the University of Bonn.
“This finding contradicts many other studies that conclude people are more satisfied when they have any job than none at all.” The new study suggests that the unemployed suffer from the lack of income not the lack of employment per se.
For their studies, the mathematical economists developed a new approach to analyze the link of income to personal levels of happiness. While earlier studies on this topic were based purely on static models, Prof. Bayer and Prof. Jüssen also included the dynamics of changing income levels.
As it turned out, that was a key step toward a better understanding of how income level and working hours affect well-being. Long-term income increases have a completely different effect on an employee’s satisfaction than temporary raise does. Previous studies had not taken this distinction into account, and treated all changes in income equally.
The formula of happiness
The study also proves that a functioning financial market is important for balancing out the effects of income fluctuations and extra work on a person’s well-being. “Our findings show that wages and working hours have more to do with a worker’s happiness and/or unhappiness than was previously assumed,” says Prof. Bayer. “So the formula for greater satisfaction in life seems to be: persistently more money while working the same number of hours.”
Publication: Christian Bayer, Falko Jüssen (2015): Happiness and the Persistence of Income Shocks. American Economic Journal.
Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer
Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics
Hausdorff Center for Mathematics
Dr. Astrid Slizewski (Press Contact)
Hausdorff Center for Mathematics
Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine