Compare opinions of world leading experts and influencers.

The Economist


Justin Wolfers


...according to many surveys taken in rich countries [...] once a country has lifted itself out of poverty, further rises in income seem not to create a meaningful rise in the proportion of people who count themselves as happy. Since the 1950s, for example, the proportion of Americans who tell pollsters that they are “very happy” has stayed constant at around 30%, while the proportion who say that they are “not very happy” has barely fallen.
13 Jan 2005    Source
Mostly Disagree Does money make you happy? (specifically: absolute spending power) Mostly Agree
We establish a clear positive link between GDP and average levels of subjective well-being across countries with no evidence of a satiation point beyond which wealthier countries have no further increases in subjective well-being. Moreover, we show that this relationship is consistent with the relationship between income and happiness within countries, suggesting a minimal role for relative income comparisons as drivers of happiness.
09 May 2008    Source
...people tend to compare their lot with that of others. In one striking example, students at Harvard University were asked whether they would prefer (a) $50,000 a year while others got half that or (b) $100,000 a year while others got twice as much. A majority chose (a). They were happy with less, as long as they were better off than others.
07 Aug 2003    Source
Agree Does relative wealth make us happier than absolute wealth? Mostly Disagree
Our evidence is consistent with the view that only absolute income matters to happiness (which would imply that the within- and between-country estimates are identical). Indeed, whereas previous analyses of the link between income and happiness had suggested a prima facie case for relative income playing a dominant role, our updated re-analysis yields no such case.
09 May 2008    Source