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The Connection Between Education, Money and Happiness

Stashed in: Economics!, #happiness, Money!, Peter Thiel, Marriage

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by vivek and peter thiel on this

Richard Easterlin's economic finding is not intuitive:

"After looking at many things that correlate to happiness, including economic success and having kids, which surprisingly did not correlate, he found three correlations: health, marriage, and education."

Health I believe. But marriage and education? Those were surprises to me.

Education is tied to income so the happiness boost isn't too surprising.

Marriage is correlated with happiness but, frankly, it's a statistical error. People who are widowed, separated and divorced all got married and now they're (on avg) less happy but we don't put them in the marriage bucket anymore. So are married people happier? Of course they are because we took all the most unhappy people who got married and reassigned them to another category.

So, yes, people who are married at this moment are going to be happier than average. But if you're using that info to decide whether you should get married you're making a grave error because you need to include widowed, separated and divorced...

And once you do, AND include the married people who are unhappy my guess is your chance of happiness is under 50% (though this will vary widely by demographics.)

Someone needs to do a study and ask:

Are you *currently* married? What is your happiness level?

Have you *ever been* married? What is your happiness level?

I predict a notable gap.

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