Economic Development

Money doesn’t buy happiness. But can it actually make employees less satisfied?

Our research suggests that income demonstrates a diminishing return and at a certain point actually becomes dissatisfying. Likewise, this curvilinear effect is exacerbated by income importance. Respondents who reported income as being important were even less satisfied their job, life in general, and income itself. In addition, employees who valued extrinsic motives such as money, possessions, and fame displayed lower levels of job satisfaction, life satisfaction, and feelings of accomplishment.

We’re conducting a series of studies to investigate the idea that stagnant levels of happiness, even in the face of economic growth, may be due to reduction in aspiration toward basic psychological needs. As the emerging markets continue to advance it will be just as important for policy makers and business leaders to focus on human, in addition to economic, development.

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