One of economists’ favorite, eternal debates is whether money brings happiness. And this week, Thierry Malleret sums up new research from the Office of National Statistics (UK) that concludes that (despite the common wisdom otherwise) it, in fact, does. Up to a point, because not all types of “money” lead to happiness. Read more to find out which types of wealth are most strongly associated with personal wellbeing—and how that shiny sports car isn’t one of them.
A new research paper published by the Office of National Statistics in the UK seems to conclude that money does indeed bring happiness: “Life satisfaction, sense of worth and happiness are higher, and anxiety less, as the level of household wealth increases.”
But what sort of money, then? The study points out that one very specific type of money has the strongest relationship with wellbeing: net financial wealth. Increasing property or personal pension wealth does not result in a measurable increase in wellbeing; and levels of household income—rather than assets already owned—are also far less strongly related to human happiness. In addition, physical assets such as yachts or luxury cars have no relation to levels of personal wellbeing.
ABOUT THIERRY MALLERET
Malleret is managing partner of the Monthly Barometer – a succinct predictive newsletter provided to private investors and decision-makers. Previously, he founded two companies that he sold, founded the Global Risk Network at the WEF, and was in charge of the Davos Annual event. His other professional experience includes: investment banking (London and Moscow), think tanks and academia (New York and Oxford) and government (in the French PM’s office). Thierry has written a dozen books, and he holds two MAs and a PhD in Economics.