Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Money Won't Buy Happiness, Study Finds; Poverty-reduction Programs Need To Also Look At Improving People's Well-being

Date:
September 8, 2009
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
There is more to life satisfaction than money, and public policy programs aiming to tackle poverty need to move beyond simply raising people’s income to also improving their quality of life in other areas, according to a new study.

There is more to life satisfaction than money, and public policy programs aiming to tackle poverty need to move beyond simply raising people's income to also improving their quality of life in other areas.

These findings by Professor Mariano Rojas from Mexico's Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales are published online in Springer's journal, Applied Research in Quality of Life.

The reduction of poverty is one of the main considerations in the design of both domestic and foreign-aid programs. To date, the focus of these programs has been to get people out of poverty by increasing their buying power and there has been an assumption that raising people's income translates into greater well-being. Professor Rojas challenges this assumption and argues that measures of life satisfaction should also be taken into account when designing and evaluating poverty-abatement programs.

Professor Rojas used data from a yearly national survey run by the University of Costa Rica covering the years 2004-2006. In addition to questions about household income and dependency on household income, he added more subjective questions about life satisfaction in general, as well as satisfaction with health, job, family relations, friendship and self, as well as the community environment.

The majority of people rated their lives as satisfactory or more than satisfactory. Not all people who were considered ‘poor' experienced low life satisfaction and not all people who were not considered ‘poor' were happy with their lives. Professor Rojas observed that only 24 percent of people classified as ‘poor' rated their life satisfaction as low. Furthermore, 18 percent of people in the ‘non-poor' category also reported low life satisfaction. It is therefore clear that poverty alone does not define an individual's overall well-being and it is possible for someone to come out of poverty and remain less than satisfied with his life. On the other hand, a person can be satisfied with his life even if his income is low, as long as he is moderately satisfied in other areas of life such as family, self, health, job and economic.

Professor Rojas argues that social programs need to recognize that well-being depends on satisfaction in many domains of life, and that many qualities and attributes need to be considered when designing these programs, including leisure, education, the community and consumer skills (learning to spend higher income sensibly).

Professor Rojas concludes: "This paper has shown that it is possible to jump over the income poverty line with little effect on life satisfaction. Income is not an end but a means to an end. There is a big risk of neglecting and underestimating the importance of well-being-enhancing factors when focusing only on income poverty. It is important to worry about getting people out of income poverty, but it is more beneficial to also worry about the additional skills people need to have a more satisfying life."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rojas M. Enhancing Poverty-Abatement Programs: a Subjective Well-Being Contribution. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2009; 4 (2): 179 DOI: 10.1007/s11482-009-9071-0

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Money Won't Buy Happiness, Study Finds; Poverty-reduction Programs Need To Also Look At Improving People's Well-being." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907142345.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2009, September 8). Money Won't Buy Happiness, Study Finds; Poverty-reduction Programs Need To Also Look At Improving People's Well-being. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907142345.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Money Won't Buy Happiness, Study Finds; Poverty-reduction Programs Need To Also Look At Improving People's Well-being." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090907142345.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins