It’s Time to Tax Happiness – Businessweek
There are all sorts of reasons to conclude that people who report themselves happy earn more as a result. A recent review in the Psychological Bulletin found that happy job-seekers are more likely to find employment and that happy employees go on to be considerably more satisfied with their jobs, which means they’re also less likely to call in sick or quit. In turn, that’s probably why economist Andrew Oswald from Warwick University estimates that happy workers are 12 percent more productive. Brookings Institution researcher Carol Graham found that Russians who reported themselves happier in 1995 went on to earn much more in 2000 than people who were unhappy at the start of the study.
Most researchers have assumed that lucre brings laughter, rather than the other way around. But the evidence suggests that the power of happiness to increase incomes is greater than the impact of money on contentment. A recent study by Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Paul Frijters of Holland’s Tinbergen Institute followed 7,000 Germans over time and looked at changes in both their reported happiness and income levels. The results suggested that it would take an 8,000-fold increase in income to raise the average person’s reported happiness by just one point on a 10-point scale.
So is smiling more the secret to success? It doesn’t hurt. The sad fact is, however, that most variation in happiness within countries at a given time is hard-wired. In other words, you are born happy—or not. Based on studies of twins, professors David Lykken and Auke Tellegen of the University of Minnesota conclude that 80 percent of the differences in happiness-poll answers offered by respondents is due to permanent features of personal character.
Strange Random Happiness Quote:
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” – Herman Cain (American business man, author and speaker)
- The Happiness “Set-point” (tiggerproject.com)
- What is Happiness? (ladylovelyblogger.wordpress.com)
- The Secret of Happiness (mindfulnessjournal.wordpress.com)
- Happy children have higher incomes as adults, study shows (dailymail.co.uk)
Posted on May 22, 2012, in Article and tagged Andrew Oswald, Brookings Institution, Carol Graham, David T. Lykken, Happiness, Herman Cain, Tinbergen Institute, University of Minnesota, Warwick University. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.