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In The Pursuit of Happiness: An empirical study on the effects of income, aspiration discrepancy and materialistic values on life satisfaction
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper attempts to examine the effect of the discrepancy between aspired richness and perceived richness, income, and materialistic values on life satisfaction. The theoretical framework is based on Kahneman’s (1999) Satisfaction Treadmill theory which states that an individual’s aspirations rise as they prosper. This theory therefore suggests that an individual’s happiness depends on the discrepancy between their richness aspiration and theirperceived richness. The hypothesis is that a greater aspiration discrepancy causes lower levels of life satisfaction. With data from the World Values Survey and the World Bank, using OLS to estimate the proposed empirical specifications, the results of this paper are that aspiration discrepancy and materialistic values are negatively correlated with life satisfaction while income is positively correlated with life satisfaction conditional on various controls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Life satisfaction, utility, reference income, aspiration, discrepancy
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-298158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-298158DiVA: diva2:944907
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-06-30 Last updated: 2016-06-30Bibliographically approved

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