An article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) has found that happy people tend to earn more. The authors used data from a large representative panel in the U.S., and looked at earnings approximately ten years after well-being was measured. They found that
- Adolescents and young adults who reported higher life satisfaction grew up to earn significantly higher levels of income later in life.
- The positive emotions and the experience of feeling happy at 16 and age 18, as well as life satisfaction at age 22 also predicted later earnings at age 29.
This conclusion takes into account the possibility that people may imagine their future high socioeconomic status and that this might have a positive impact on their current well-being. Other factors, such as education, intelligence, physical health, and height were also taken into account in the analysis.
Source (Open Access):De Neve, J.-E., & Oswald, A. J. (2012). Estimating the influence of life satisfaction and positive affect on later income using sibling fixed effects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(49), 19953–19958.