London, Oct 2 (IANS) Does money bring happiness? A new study finds that 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, the study led by mathematical economist Christian Bayer from the University of Bonn, Germany, found.
By contrast, a permanent increase in income results in a significant rise in well-being, even if the raise is small, it said.
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,” said professor Bayer.
“This finding contradicts many other studies which conclude that people are more satisfied when they have any job than none at all,” he added.
The new study suggests that the unemployed suffer from the lack of income, not the lack of employment per se.
The study also proved 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,” Bayer said.
“So the formula for greater satisfaction in life seems to be: persistently more money while working the same number of hours,” he emphasised.
The study is scheduled to be published in the American Economic Journal.