Research Confirms That More Money Doesn’t Equate to Happiness

David Lee, Jan. 12, 2016, 8:50 a.m.


New research indicates that even if you have more money, satisfaction with life doesn’t increase. At a time when the economy is slumping, leading to resignations, unemployment, and tight household finances, many people think that money and happiness are not related.

A recent report entitled ‘Relationship Between Local Income and Subjective Satisfaction in Life’, from professor Kang Eun-teak of Seonam University, states that life satisfaction increases until annual income reaches 88 million won. However, satisfaction did not increase after income levels exceeded 88 million won per year.

Professor Kang’s thesis is based on the results of the ‘2012 Korea Labor and Income Panel Study’ issued by the Korea Labor Institute. The thesis also contains the results of a survey conducted on 13,000 samples, which is a significant enough sample size to yield more accurate results.

Professor Kang suggests that the maximum amount of income that increases satisfaction in life was 88 million won for single person households, 124.5 million won for two-person households, and 176 million won for four-person households.

Kang comments that income can act as a positive factor to increase the happiness of a person, but other variables should be considered as well. “The study excludes other variables and only focuses on the correlation between income and happiness. Other variables such as religion, education, marital status and real estate ownership could influence happiness and life satisfaction.”

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