Can Money Make You Happy?

The relationship between happiness and income can be summed up in a simple equation, but really, it's complicated.

Can money make you happy? An entire quantitative field of study, happiness economics, has grown up around that question. In reading the literature, I came to one inescapable conclusion: Happiness economics makes some academics happy because they can publish conflicting papers that help them earn tenure. Oh, and they’ve boiled down happiness to an equation:

Wit = α + βxit + εit

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Bob Frick
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance