Study: Happy people earn more
New research finds a clear link between a satisfying childhood and a higher salary as an adult.
This post comes from Monica Rozenfeld at partner site The Fiscal Times.
It's a common conception that money can buy happiness. But a study published in the journal Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences suggests the opposite could be true: Happiness buys money. The study found that people who are already happy, thanks to a positive upbringing, tend to make more money as adults.
Researchers followed more than 15,000 individuals from high school age in 1994 to their late 20s in 2008, with a focus on sibling pairs, including twins and siblings who were not raised in the same household. They also accounted for factors such as genetics, health, education and IQ.
Participants were questioned in surveys and during in-home interviews about their overall well-being and how many times certain statements were true in the past week, such as "You enjoyed life," "You were happy," and "You felt you were just as good as other people."
After following the participants for 14 years, the study found a clear link between a satisfying childhood and a higher salary as an adult. Some of the reasons the researchers believe that happier children go on to become more successful are their positive, outgoing attitude and their greater likelihood of getting hired, promoted and earning a higher degree.
The study's author, a behavioral science professor at the University College London's School of Public Policy, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, said the research tests conventional wisdom -- whether money buys you happiness. In this case, it's the happier individual who makes more money in the first place, he says.
The study did not look at the types of professions people chose based on their childhood experiences -- for example, if those with below-par upbringings were more drawn to lower-paying careers. Regardless, De Neve says it is clear in the results of the study that an unhappy adolescence is a statistical predictor for lower earnings later in life, even taking into account factors like genetics and education, as seen when comparing siblings.
There are countless reasons a happy childhood is important for well-being as an adult. "This is yet another good reason why parents should provide an emotionally healthy and happy environment, as it may impact their children's later success," says De Neve.
More on MSN Money:
So now someone can blame mom and dad for not being able to make enough money ? With so many kids getting high dollar electronics and everything else they want by age 6, there should soon be plenty of happy people making lots of money. Sounds like the economy will soon be on the mend. Who writes this crap ?
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Children from lower income families are at greater risk of suffering accidental injuries and being sickened by food, according to a Consumer Federation of America study.