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Delay and Deservingness after Winning the Lottery


Oswald, Andrew J; Winkelmann, Rainer (2008). Delay and Deservingness after Winning the Lottery. Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute No. 815, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Economics rests upon a set of presumptions about how human beings are affected by income. Yet causal evidence is scant. This paper reports a longitudinal study of randomly selected lottery winners. Remarkably, we show that it takes almost three years before they enjoy their money. We develop a model of dissonance and deservingness. We argue that, despite the tradition of economics, human beings may weight differently the different kinds of income that accrue to them. If so, it is not sufficient to describe utility by a function u(y), and it is not true that ‘a dollar is a dollar’.

Economics rests upon a set of presumptions about how human beings are affected by income. Yet causal evidence is scant. This paper reports a longitudinal study of randomly selected lottery winners. Remarkably, we show that it takes almost three years before they enjoy their money. We develop a model of dissonance and deservingness. We argue that, despite the tradition of economics, human beings may weight differently the different kinds of income that accrue to them. If so, it is not sufficient to describe utility by a function u(y), and it is not true that ‘a dollar is a dollar’.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Socioeconomic Institute (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:I31, J3
Language:English
Date:December 2008
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 22:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:12
Series Name:Working paper series / Socioeconomic Institute
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52402

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