Articles from Cass Knowledge

When Having is Not Enough - Implications of Being Satisfied

This research examines the fundamental question of what makes people happy, and makes recommendations on how government can foster satisfaction and well-being throughout the populace. The research was based on the government’s own data from the British Household Panel Survey.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the UK, has said that improving society's sense of happiness is a matter of the utmost importance. A vital question to ask is what does a sense of happiness consist of. Objective circumstances, such as how much one earns or the size of one's house only provide a partial insight. A number of other factors are important. While having 'more' in life seems to have a positive impact on consumers' well-being, the role of how satisfied consumers need to be with this 'more' before it is able to enhance their well-being is not clear. This has been the motivation for our research.

The research was based on the government's own data from the British Household Panel Survey. It sheds light on what makes people happy and how government could use public policy to foster satisfaction and well-being. The implications for public policy makers are that intervention policies which improve the three life domains of health, leisure and housing will effectively enhance consumers' well-being.

A key recommendation of the research is that Government should allocate greater resources to increase consumers' positive thinking, to help improve their well-being.

This is the first study to examine the mediating effect of subjective satisfaction on the effect of objective circumstances on well-being across six life domains.

The full draft research paper is available for download below.


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