Correlational findings

Study Ball & Chernova (2008): study ZZ 1995 /1

18+ aged, general public, 18 nations, 1995-1997
N = 20771
Non Response:
Interview: face-to-face


Authors's label
Relative income
Our Classification
Respondents were presented a card with 10 income brackets, that expressed the nations income deciles in local currency.

They self-rated their income category in answer to the question: Here is a scale of incomes. We would like to know in what group your household is, counting all wages, salaries, pensions and other incomes that come in. Just give the letter of the group your household falls into, before taxes and other deductions.

Relative income was measured as the log of the ratio of an individuals absolute income to her country's median income.

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks O-SLW-c-sq-n-10-a Beta = +.30 p < .001 Beta controlled for:
-Interaction between relative and absolute income
-Individual variables
  -Marital status
  -Employment status
-Country variables
  -log of GDP pc
  -Economic growth
  -Hapiness in  the country (dummies for below/above average)

A change in the relative income has a larger effect on happiness than a change in absolute income for almost 88% of the sample.