Research Seminar | “Does Money Buy Happiness? A Revealed Preference Approach”



“Does Money Buy Happiness?
A Revealed Preference Approach”

Research Seminar by Dr. Nikolaos Antonakakis


While various studies have explored the link between economic development and well-being using reported subjective well-being (SWB), there is a paucity of work undertaking such analyses using revealed preference approaches. Suicide rates clearly reveal extreme life dissatisfaction but remain a contentious indicator of wider mental health and well-being concerns. Controlling for several country-specific socioeconomic suicide determinants among 73 countries over the period 1990- 2010 we found suggestive evidence of an N-shaped suicidal Kuznets curve between per capita income and suicide rates of the male population of 25-34, 34-54 and 55-74 age groups and the female population of the 55-74 age group. We provide some simple intuitive conjecture for this N-shaped relationship in terms of a changing pattern of net negative and positive mental health spillovers at different income levels. Specifically, we contend that striving to escape very low income and poverty is associated with negative mental health spillover effects (specifically higher suicide rates). Once achieved, further income increases up to a certain point are then associated with positive mental health spillover effects (lower suicide rates). Beyond this point (for high income countries), further income rises are then associated with net negative mental health spillover effects as households confront relative income disparity concerns (Duesenberry, 1949), seemingly stark work-life balance concerns, long commuting journeys and other phenomena associated with high pressured living in mature industrialized economies.

  • Second event of the Business and Management Department Research Seminar Series
  • Open for students & faculty

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