Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Happiness 2

Tom V writes: the correlation between having a job and being happy might be because theres so many negative connotations of being unemployed. perhaps because were stuck with the protestant notion of work ethic.

To decipher this cause, it would be interesting to take some people, and pay them the same amount but they dont actually have to turn up to work. i doubt their happiness will decline.

So two things: searching for a job might cause total misery, and then getting a job makes one happy. second, there may be a big difference in happiness for the small difference in income between welfare and entry level job.


I agree, there must be reasons why we want to work, and those reasons might be social, as well as biologicial.

But the experiment about taking some people, and paying them the same amount with some not having to turn up to work has been done (on paper and with economietrics at least). The finding, reported by Frank and Stutzer is that for the European countries observed, "a move from the lowest income quartile to the highest income quartile would not be enough to offset the adverse effect of unemployment."

It is true that some days I would quite like to be paid not to work. I would like to volunteer for any experiment in which I was paid not to work, but I am not sure I would like to be part of that experiment for ever.