Happiness, Habits and High Rank: Comparisons in Economic and Social Life

42 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2012

See all articles by Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark

Paris School of Economics (PSE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2012


The role of money in producing sustained subjective well-being seems to be seriously compromised by social comparisons and habituation. But does that necessarily mean that we would be better off doing something else instead? This paper suggests that the phenomena of comparison and habituation are actually found in a considerable variety of economic and social activities, rendering conclusions regarding well-being policy less straightforward.

Keywords: comparison, habituation, income, unemployment, marriage, divorce, health, religion, policy

JEL Classification: D01, D31, H00, I31, J12, J28

Suggested Citation

Clark, Andrew Eric, Happiness, Habits and High Rank: Comparisons in Economic and Social Life (May 2012). SOEPpaper No. 452, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2131154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2131154

Andrew Eric Clark (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

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