Researching The Theory That Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Whether or not money buys happiness remains a collective fixation—and many scholars endeavor to answer the question through countless studies. In a much-cited paper published in 2010, psychologist Daniel Kahneman and economist Angus Deaton determined that an individual’s life satisfaction improved as their income increased, but emotional wellbeing plateaued once a household achieved an income of $75,000 (equal to about $90,000 now). Around the same time, psychology doctoral student and software product manager Matthew Killingsworth developed an app designed to retrieve and record similar data. Killingsworth—now a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—just released his newest findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which draws conclusions via information from 33,391 employed US adults. His paper suggests that there is no plateau to the relationship with income and satisfaction. As Justin Fox writes, “Money keeps buying happiness, even for the affluent.” Read more at Bloomberg.

Image courtesy of George Wylesol for Bloomberg