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Lottery wins and satisfaction: overturning Brickman in modern longitudinal data on Germany


Winkelmann, Rainer; Oswald, Andrew J (2019). Lottery wins and satisfaction: overturning Brickman in modern longitudinal data on Germany. In: Rojas, Mariano. The economics of happiness: how the easterlin paradox transformed our understanding of well-being and progress. Cham: Springer, 57-84.

Abstract

Paradoxically, the published literature on the psychological consequences of lottery wins has found almost no evidence that winners become happier. This famous puzzle was originally documented by the psychologist Philip Brickman and colleagues. Using new German panel data, we offer results that are more in accord with common sense and economic theory. We have been particularly influenced by the pioneering work of Richard Easterlin: in this paper we explicitly consider the idea of ‘domain’ satisfaction levels. First, our estimates show that lottery wins raise people’s satisfaction with their overall income. Second, lottery wins’ increase people’s satisfaction with life. The effects documented here are, as might be expected, especially pronounced for big wins. One of the advantages of our data set is that it allows access to a greater number of large winners than has typically been possible in the published literature.

Abstract

Paradoxically, the published literature on the psychological consequences of lottery wins has found almost no evidence that winners become happier. This famous puzzle was originally documented by the psychologist Philip Brickman and colleagues. Using new German panel data, we offer results that are more in accord with common sense and economic theory. We have been particularly influenced by the pioneering work of Richard Easterlin: in this paper we explicitly consider the idea of ‘domain’ satisfaction levels. First, our estimates show that lottery wins raise people’s satisfaction with their overall income. Second, lottery wins’ increase people’s satisfaction with life. The effects documented here are, as might be expected, especially pronounced for big wins. One of the advantages of our data set is that it allows access to a greater number of large winners than has typically been possible in the published literature.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:21 Jan 2020 13:50
Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 15:12
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-3-030-15834-7
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15835-4_3

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