longer hours

Most people would choose longer hours and higher pay even if it won’t make them happy.

Money might not be able to buy you love, but it seems most people would be willing to choose it over happiness if the results of a new survey are to be believed.


More than 2500 people were asked which would make them happier – a job which paid £50,000 with ‘reasonable’ hours allowing them 7.5 hours sleep or one paying £90,000 with ‘unusual’ hours allowing them just six hours sleep.

Then they were asked, if push came to shove, which of the two jobs they would actually choose.

The researchers, a team of economists from Cornell University in the U.S., found more respondents chose better pay despite the fact they believed it would make them less happy.

Pressed about their motivation many said they felt picking the better paid job would make their family happier.

Others said they would enjoy the greater social status that came with the role while some said it would give them a greater sense of purpose.

The research, which will be published in the American Economic Review, is being presented at the Fourth Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences in Austria. 

Alex Rees-Jones, one of the PhD students behind the research, said he believed the findings had political implications.

He told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Our research suggests that if governments choose to design policies to maximise happiness measured in their surveys, they might impose policies that people would not want for themselves.’

Via Daily Mail