Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study

33 Pages Posted: 28 May 2004 Last revised: 10 Sep 2010

See all articles by David G. Blanchflower

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Stirling - Department of Economics

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2004

Abstract

This paper studies the links between income, sexual behavior and reported happiness. It uses recent data on a random sample of 16,000 adult Americans. The paper finds that sexual activity enters strongly positively in happiness equations. Greater income does not buy more sex, nor more sexual partners. The typical American has sexual intercourse 2-3 times a month. Married people have more sex than those who are single, divorced, widowed or separated. Sexual activity appears to have greater effects on the happiness of highly educated people than those with low levels of education. The happiness-maximizing number of sexual partners in the previous year is calculated to be 1. Highly educated females tend to have fewer sexual partners. Homosexuality has no statistically significant effect on happiness. Our conclusions are based on pooled cross-section equations in which it is not possible to correct for the endogeneity of sexual activity. The statistical results should be treated cautiously.

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G. and Oswald, Andrew J., Money, Sex, and Happiness: An Empirical Study (May 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10499, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=552104

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2536 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
319
Abstract Views
5,263
rank
98,946
PlumX Metrics