Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New Formula for Life-Satisfaction


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.

Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer, from the Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics at the University of Bonn.

© Photo: Uni Bonn

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.

Media contact:

Prof. Dr. Christian Bayer
Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics
Hausdorff Center for Mathematics
Tel. 0228/73-4073

Dr. Astrid Slizewski (Press Contact)
Hausdorff Center for Mathematics
Tel. 0228/73-3138

Weitere Informationen: Publication

Johannes Seiler | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Macroeconomics happiness life satisfaction personal happiness

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Enormous dome in central Andes driven by huge magma body beneath it

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

First time-lapse footage of cell activity during limb regeneration

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Deep down fracking wells, microbial communities thrive

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>