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Overearning – Revisited

Nadine Riedel and Robert Stüber

Journal of Economic Psychology, 2019, vol. 75, issue PA

Abstract: In a 2013 Psychological Science article, Hsee et al. designed a controlled laboratory experiment to assess whether individuals overearn, i.e., forgo leisure to work and earn beyond their consumption needs. The authors reported evidence in line with people overearning, even at the cost of happiness, and in line with mindless accumulation being the driver of this finding. In a large-scale replication and extension of Hsee et al. (2013), we cannot confirm the original paper’s findings: Our results reject that mindless accumulation is a quantitatively relevant driver of overearning behavior. In direct replications of Hsee et al. (2013), overearning turns out to be a moderate phenomenon. Extensions to the original paper, however, suggest that task enjoyment and uncertainty about future utility of consumption may establish overearning.

Keywords: Overearning; Heuristics; Happiness; Social comparison (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 D12 D91 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2018.12.009

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