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Revisiting Michael McBride’s experiment about “Money, happiness, and aspirations”

Abigail Barr

No 2010003, Discussion Papers from University of Oxford, Nuffield College

Abstract: In a laboratory experiment designed to test aspiration-based theories of happiness, McBride (2010) found no evidence of the predicted negative effect of own past payments on subjects’ satisfaction with their current round payments. This paper presents further analysis of McBride’s data that reveals such an effect. In the treatment where such an effect is most likely to be observed, subjects’ satisfaction with their payments in a given round is negatively affected by the level of payment they received the last time they faced the same payment probabilities. The overall trajectory of their payments when facing the same payment probabilities is also found to have an effect.

Keywords: Satisfaction; Happiness; Adaptation; Experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C91 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 10 pages
Date: 2010-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-hap and nep-soc
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