Please wait a minute...
Advances in Psychological Science    2018, Vol. 26 Issue (1) : 180-189     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2018.00180
Regular Articles |
 Happiness-income paradox and the latest explanation
 YAN Xiaohua1; LIU Zhenliang2; WANG Xiangkun1; MU Shoukuan1
 (1 School of Educational Science, Minnan Normal University, Zhangzhou 363000, China) (2 Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China)
Download: PDF(453 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks     Supporting Info
Abstract   The cross-sectional studies show a positive relationship between income and happiness whereas the long-term series studies—usually a period of 10 years or more—show there is a nil relationship between them, which is the so-called happiness-income paradox. Previous studies usually explain the happiness- income paradox from the perspective of theory such as Set-Point Theory, Adaptation Theory, or Relative Utility Theory. Recently, researchers have paid much concern to the omitted variables. Five types of omitted variables, including income inequality, education, social capital, individualism-collectivism and marital status, are introduced in this article to interpret the phenomenon. The negative effects of omitted variables on happiness offset the positive effect of income, which leads to an occurrence of happiness-income paradox.
Keywords happiness-income paradox      happiness      income      omitted variables     
Corresponding Authors: MU Shoukuan, E-mail:   
Issue Date: 28 November 2017
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
YAN Xiaohua
LIU Zhenliang
WANG Xiangkun
MU Shoukuan
Cite this article:   
YAN Xiaohua,LIU Zhenliang,WANG Xiangkun, et al.  Happiness-income paradox and the latest explanation[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(1): 180-189.
URL:     OR
[1] XU Huachun, CUI Biying, ZHANG Wenting.  Does parenthood increase well-being?[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2018, 26(3): 538-548.
[2] LI Jing, YANG Ruirui, GUO Yongyu. Is materialism all that bad? Challenges from empirical and conceptual research[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2017, 25(10): 1811-1820.
[3] XU Fuming; SHI Yanwei; LI Ou; ZHANG Hui; LI Yan. Mechanisms and measures of the public’ sense of income unfairness: Dual viewpoint of reference dependence and loss aversion[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2016, 24(5): 665-675.
[4] YU Ying; JING Fengjie. Development and application of the hedonic adaptation theory[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2016, 24(10): 1663-1669.
[5] TAN Fei; LI Aimei; SUN Hailong; HOU Fen. The effect of focusing missing on instant happy experience[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2016, 24(10): 1544-1550.
[6] ZOU Qiong; ZUO Bin; DAI Taotao. Happiness at Work: Definition, Measurement Levels and Causal Models[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2015, 23(4): 669-678.
[7] JIANG Jiang; XU Feng; ZENG Taoran; XU Yayi. Experiential Purchases, Material Purchases, and Happiness: An Introduction[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2014, 22(11): 1782-1790.
[8] QIN Feng;XU Fang. Machiavellians’ Job Performance and Career Success in Workplaces: A Meta-Analysis[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2013, 21(9): 1542-1553.
[9] GUO Dingrong;REN Jun;ZHANG Zhenxin;Fred B. BRYANT. Savoring: Enjoying Positive Experience with Concentrated Attention[J]. Advances in Psychological Science, 2013, 21(7): 1262-1271.
[10] ZHENG Yu;ZHAO Na;WANG Er-Ping. The Dynamic Relationship between Family Income and Life Satisfaction: Based on a Panel Study about 21 Cities and Counties from 2004 to 2010[J]. , 2010, 18(07): 1155-1160.
[11] ZHANG Jun-Wei;XU Fu-Ming;SUN Yan;LIU Teng-Fei;JIANG Duo. Happiness in Behavioral Decision Making and Its Promotion Strategy[J]. , 2010, 18(07): 1096-1103.
[12] LEE Jing;GUO Yong-Yu. The Relationship between Income and Happiness and Its Practical Implications[J]. , 2010, 18(07): 1073-1080.
[13] ZHANG Ai-Lian;HUANG Xi-Ting. The Effect of Economic Status on Subjective Well-Being in China:
An Analysis on Related Researches
[J]. , 2010, 18(07): 1068-1072.
[14] GAN Quan;ZUO Bin;SUN Shan.

The Concept and Model of Unhappiness

[J]. , 2010, 18(07): 1062-1067.
[15] LI Hong-Li;CHANG Lei. An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective of Happiness[J]. , 2010, 18(07): 1046-1051.
Full text



Copyright © Advances in Psychological Science
Support by Beijing Magtech