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Money can buy happiness!

india Updated: Sep 07, 2010 19:54 IST

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If you think that money can't buy happiness, think again, for a new study claims that it can - at least up to a point.

Researchers at Princeton University have found that people's feelings of joy and contentment increase along with their income up to about US dollars 75,000, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported.

But, for folks making less than US dollars 75,000 a year, "stuff is so in your face it's hard to be happy. It interferes with your enjoyment", Angus Deaton, an economist at the Princeton University said.

For their study, the researchers surveyed 1,000 volunteers about their earnings and their levels of happiness. They were asked whether they had felt joyful, sad, stressed or angry the previous day and whether they'd laughed a lot.

Happiness got better as income rose but the effect levelled out at US dollars 75,000. On the other hand, their overall sense of success or wellbeing continued to rise as their earnings grew beyond that point, the findings revealed.

"Giving people more income beyond 75K is not going to do much for their daily mood... but it is going to make them feel they have a better life," Deaton said.

The researchers concluded: "More money does not necessarily buy more happiness but less money is associated with emotional pain. Perhaps US dollars 75,000 is a threshold beyond which further increases in income no longer improve a person's ability to do what matters most to their emotional well-being - such as spending time with the people they like, avoiding pain and disease and enjoying leisure.

"It is likely that when income increases above this value the increased ability to purchase positive experience is balanced, on average."