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Wednesday, 04 April 2012 10:11

Salary envy can make you happy, says study

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Jealous conversations around the water cooler about colleagues’ salaries and bonuses may be a frequent occurrence in many offices but for young people, seeing others around them do well can actually make them happy, according to a new report,- The telegraph(UK)

As per my knowledge jealousy or envy comes under negative emotions that affects our mind and in long term body also. However, the study entitled So Far So Good: Age, Sex, Happiness and Relative Income, which is based on  surveys carried out in Germany says sometimes such emotions does have positive effects and it also encourages you to achieve the new height in career as your peer; especially at young age. It’s like healthy competition.

Economists believe those under the age of 45 get higher levels of satisfaction from seeing their peers earn more because they think they have similar chances of success.
Need to realise that, for those over the age of 45, comparisons with high-flyers make them unhappy because they think they have less time to catch up as they approach retirement.

Study
Researchers divided participants into peer groups using characteristics such as age, education, and location, and identified that people may be categorised as hares, or people who are promoted early, or tortoises, or those who develop more slowly.
The researchers found the negative impact of comparing salaries was limited to older workers. Those who were retired were less bothered by income and were thought to be more concerned about their health.

Expert’s view
Professor Felix FitzRoy, one of the co-authors of the report, which was recently presented to the Royal Economic Society Conference in Cambridge, said: “The sort of study we have is that people are generally made less happy by comparisons. In other words, the higher their peer group income, the worse they feel. With young people, it’s the opposite.”

Professor FitzRoy, an expert in happiness and public economics at the University of St Andrews School of Economics and Finance, said those under the age of 45 were given a “positive boost” by knowing their peers earned more than them.

The study said: "While results from the entire samples confirm previous findings that reference income has a strong negative effect on well-being, our sub-sample regressions for different age/gender groups show that the effect of comparison income on individual life-satisfaction changes dramatically over the life-cycle in West Germany, and, less strongly, between men and women. “These results may perhaps also provide an additional explanation for the observed trends in happiness in industrialised/developed countries.”

Professor FitzRoy added the researchers planned a detailed study of Britain after finding initial differences between the Germany and the UK, where older people were less affected by income comparisons. But he said the findings had worrying implications for those currently at the beginning of their careers at a time of austerity and public spending cuts.

“What it does emphasise is how important aspirations are for young people,” he said. “In a situation like current austerity, these aspirations are being systematically destroyed because young graduates are lucky to get jobs and if they do, they are usually below their qualifications. “We can conclude that this is particularly damaging to their self-esteem and of course, we find in virtually all studies that unemployment has very damaging effects.

“This very high level of youth unemployment, which is being generated by the Government’s austerity policies, is neglecting the lessons we have learned where austerity in a recession has always made it worse.”

Agreed to findings, however, I believe, A person who becomes successful or get the right position in job, possess specific qualities including ambition, hard work, discipline, focus approach etc. I wonder, after knowing the fact about peer high earning, would it also encourage others to incorporate these qualities???


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News  source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/wellbeing/9183530/Salary-envy-can-make-you-happy-says-study.html

 

Read 13245 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 April 2012 10:41

1 comment

  • Comment Link Monisha Thursday, 05 April 2012 15:26 posted by Monisha

    Good one makes one think!

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