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官方调查:金钱能够买来幸福
It’s official: money can buy you happiness

2020-9-6 20:03| 发布者: 悠儿| 查看: 3274| 评论: 0

摘要: Forget what your parents, your self-help guides or your religion may have told you: money can buy you happiness.That, at least, is the conclusion from the number crunchers at the UK’s Office for Nati ...
It’s official: money can buy you happiness
Forget what your parents, your self-help guides or your religion may have told you: money can buy you happiness.

That, at least, is the conclusion from the number crunchers at the UK’s Office for National Statistics, who have combined data from surveys on household wealth and personal wellbeing.

Life satisfaction, sense of worth and happiness are higher, and anxiety less, as the level of household wealth increases,” the ONS said in a paper released on Friday.

Indeed, one very specific type of money has the strongest relationship with wellbeing: net financial wealth, which could be stocks and shares, savings in the banks or money under the mattress.

However, Generation Rent — young people struggling to get on the housing ladder — need not despair entirely. The ONS found that increasing property or personal pension wealth did not result in a measurable increase in wellbeing. Levels of household income — rather than assets already owned — were also far less strongly related.

Surprisingly, although physical assets such as antiques, yachts, swish cars or stamp collections might induce smugness, the ONS found they had no relation to levels of personal wellbeing, which may or may not disprove the theory that it is nicer to cry in a Ferrari than on a park bench.

The ONS asked individuals to rate their own wellbeing on a scale of 0 to 10, on questions such as how satisfied they were with life and were the things they did worthwhile? These responses were then crunched alongside household wealth and income, with the statistical model controlling for variables such as gender or ethnicity, to see what impact wealth or income had on an otherwise alike individual.

The ONS is confident the relationships it describes are statistically significant. For net financial wealth, for example, those in the bottom 20 per cent scored themselves on average 0.4 points lower than those in the middle 20 per cent.

The report is the latest entry into the debate about whether it is absolute or relative income and wealth that matter when it comes to improving wellbeing.

For instance, in influential papers, the economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers tried to find evidence to support the idea that what matters for wellbeing is how you compare with those around you — in other words, keeping up with the Joneses. They failed.

After looking at multiple countries and numerous definitions of wellbeing and basic needs, they concluded: “If there is a satiation point [at which income and wellbeing are no longer related], we are yet to reach it”.

More importantly for policymakers, perhaps, they found that countries that enjoyed faster economic growth, on average also experienced greater growth in wellbeing.

In 2006, David Cameron, then opposition leader, urged statisticians to focus more alternative measures of the national quality of life. “Wellbeing cannot be measured by money or traded in markets,” he said.

Yet the new statistics, which resulted from his policy drive, suggest perhaps you can have a good go.

Diane Coyle, founder of Enlightenment Economics, is one economist who thinks statistics should be focused on more tangible outcomes.

" I don’t think we should be measuring happiness at all. It is not a ‘policy useful’ measure. The government doesn’t have levers that easily affect happiness, and should concentrate on the things that government can do,” she said, pointing to employment or spending on mental health.

In previous work by the ONS, good health, type of employment and personal relationships have proved to have the strongest links to high levels of self-reported wellbeing. At least the first two are something the government can do something about.

And if you don’t believe the ONS, you might agree with Ronald Reagan when he said: “Money can’t buy happiness, but it will certainly get you a better class of memories.”

忘了你的父母、你的自助指南或者你所信仰的宗教可能告诉你的话吧:金钱能够买来幸福。

这至少是英国国家统计局(Office for National Statistics)统计人员得出的结论,他们把有关家庭财富与个人幸福感的调查数据结合起来分析。

英国国家统计局在上周五发布的一篇论文中表示:“随着家庭财富水平上升,生活满意度、价值感以及幸福感会提升,忧虑会减少。”

实际上,有一类财富与幸福感的关系最为密切:金融财富净值,它们可能是股票证券、银行存款或放在床垫下的钱。

然而,租房一代(年轻人很难购房)不必感到绝望。英国国家统计局发现,房地产或个人养老金财富的增加不会带来幸福感的显著上升。家庭收入水平(而非已拥有资产)与幸福感的关系也谈不上密切。

令人意外的是,尽管古董、游艇、豪车或集邮等有形资产可能会让人沾沾自喜,但英国国家统计局发现,这些与个人幸福感毫不相关,这或许可以——也或许不可以——证明这种理论是错误的:在法拉利(Ferrari)车里哭泣要好于在公园长椅上哭。

英国国家统计局邀请个人对自己的幸福感打分,分值从零分到10分,问题包括他们对生活的满意程度以及他们所做的事情是否有意义。接着将这些答案与家庭财富和收入结合起来。这一统计模型对性别或种族等变量进行了控制,以了解财富或收入对其他条件都相同的个人的影响。

英国国家统计局确信,其所描述的关系具有重大统计意义。例如,就金融财富净值而言,那些处于最低20%的人群给自己的打分比处于中间20%的人群平均低0.4点。

这份报告是围绕以下辩论的最新尝试:在提升幸福感的问题上,是绝对收入和财富重要,还是相对收入和财富重要。

例如,经济学家贝齐?史蒂文森(Betsey Stevenson)和贾斯廷?沃尔弗斯(Justin Wolfers)在一些引起重大影响的论文中试图找到证据,支持这种观点:对于幸福感而言,重要的是你如何与周围的人比较,换句话说,跟社会地位相同的人比较。他们失败了。

在对多个国家的情况以及关于幸福感和基本需求的多种定义进行考察后,他们总结称:“如果说存在一个收入和幸福感不再相关的饱和点(satiation point)的话,那么我们现在还没有达到这个点。”money happiness

或许,对于政策制定者而言更为重要的是,两位经济学家发现,经济增速较快国家的幸福感上升速度一般较快。

2006年,时任反对党领袖的戴维?卡梅伦(David Cameron)曾敦促统计学家更多关注其他衡量国民生活质量的指标。他表示:“幸福不能由金钱衡量,也不能在市场交易。”

然而源自于他的政策举措的最新统计结果表明,或许人们可以试试这么做。

Enlightenment Economics创始人、经济学家戴安娜?科伊尔(Diane Coyle)认为,统计应着眼于更切实的收入。

她表示:“我认为,我们根本不应该衡量幸福感。这不是一个‘对政策有用’的指标。政府没有办法轻易影响幸福感,应关注于政府能够采取的措施。”她指的是就业或者心理健康支出。

在英国国家统计局之前的研究成果中,良好的健康状况、就业类型以及人际关系被证明为与自我报告的幸福感水平关系最为密切。至少,前两个是政府能够为之付出努力的。

如果你不相信英国国家统计局的数据,你或许会同意罗纳德?里根(Ronald Reagan)的话,他说:“金钱买不来幸福,但肯定会提升你的回忆。”

译者/梁艳裳


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