Money magazine interviews Wolfers on money and happiness

June 10, 2014

In the June 9 Money magazine article, "Does Money Buy Happiness," Susie Poppick interviews Justin Wolfers on the research he and Betsey Stevenson have done to illuminate the complex relationship between money and happiness.

Wolfers discusses the research findings and their implications for policymakers, politicians, and people. While Wolfers and Stevenson's research indicates that there's a strong relationship between money and happiness, however, Wolfers cautions against focusing exclusively on earnings. "Don't let an economist bully you into believing money's all that matters. And don't let a psychologist bully you into believing that money is completely unimportant. How you manage that tradeoff is going to require a lot of experimenting and thinking and introspection. People choose occupations based not just on money, but also on meaning. There's nothing in my research that says that's a bad idea."

Justin Wolfers is an associate professor at the Ford School and Department of Economics; he is also a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Betsey Stevenson is on leave as an associate professor at the Ford School and Department of Economics while she serves on President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers; she was previously chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.