I’m Mary Walden, with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks, what matters. Mike, there’s been a longtime on-going discussion about what really matters in making people happy. This is obviously a very broad question encompassing many fields. But can you weigh in from an economic viewpoint.
Mike: Summary Answer
- Three of top economic considerations would be income, employment, and wealth
- Regarding income, studies show happiness rises with income, but only to a point – that is, there are diminishing returns
- Part of the reason may be the tradeoff between more income and less leisure time as move up the income scale
- But economists have also found people value where they stand relative to others
- That is, relative income is important – if your friends have income gains and you don’t – even if you make good income, happiness will often fall
- I’m MW
And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.