The Complex Relationship Between Education and Happiness: The Case of Highly Educated Individuals in Italy

Ruiu, Gabriele and Ruiu, Maria (2019) The Complex Relationship Between Education and Happiness: The Case of Highly Educated Individuals in Italy. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20 (8). pp. 2631-2653. ISSN 1389-4978

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0062-4

Abstract

The present work aims to explore whether there exists a systematic frustration in terms of income expectations among those who have obtained high level of education in Italy, and if this mismatch between expected and effective incomes negatively affects their perception of happiness. We adopt a reference-dependent preferences model combined with the concept of “illusory superiority bias” to analyse data on “happiness” in Italy, provided by the biennial survey conducted by the Bank of Italy on the Italian households’ incomes and wealth between 2004 and 2014. Our results show a positive effect produced by education on incomes. High educated workers have on average higher income than other people, and this difference is statistically significant controlling for working experience and other possible confounding factors. However, the disutility resulting from the frustration of expectations produces negative effects on perceived happiness. Even though highly educated people are actually able to find better job matching in comparison to less educated workers, they are also more likely to seeing their income expectations frustrated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Happiness, Education, Reference dependent preferences, Income
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L700 Human and Social Geography
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 13:38
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 13:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43266

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