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dc.contributor.authorBoyce, Christopher J-
dc.contributor.authorBrown, Gordon D A-
dc.contributor.authorMoore, Simon C-
dc.description.abstractDoes money buy happiness, or does happiness come indirectly from the higher rank in society that money brings? We tested a rank-income hypothesis, according to which people gain utility from the ranked position of their income within a comparison group. The rank hypothesis contrasts with traditional reference-income hypotheses, which suggest that utility from income depends on comparison to a social reference-group norm. We found that the ranked position of an individual's income predicts general life satisfaction, whereas absolute income and reference income have no effect. Furthermore, individuals weight upward comparisons more heavily than downward comparisons. According to the rank hypothesis, income and utility are not directly linked: Increasing an individual's income will increase his or her utility only if ranked position also increases and will necessarily reduce the utility of others who will lose rank.en_UK
dc.relationBoyce CJ, Brown GDA & Moore SC (2010) Money and happiness: Rank of income, not income, affects life satisfaction, Psychological Science, 21 (4), pp. 471-475.-
dc.rightsPublisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in Psychological Science, April 2010 vol. 21 no. 4 pp.471-475 by SAGE. The original publication is available at
dc.subjectrelative incomeen_UK
dc.subjectlife satisfactionen_UK
dc.subjectsocial comparisonsen_UK
dc.subject.lcshEconomics Psychological aspects-
dc.subject.lcshFinance Psychological aspects-
dc.titleMoney and happiness: Rank of income, not income, affects life satisfactionen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.citation.jtitlePsychological Science-
dc.type.statusPost-print (author final draft post-refereeing)-
dc.contributor.affiliationUniversity of Warwick-
dc.contributor.affiliationCardiff University-
Appears in Collections:Economics Journal Articles

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