Would more money make you happier? Let me tell you a story.
Markus created in 2009 the video game called Minecraft, a kind of virtual Lego game that has become a social phenomenon. But, all of a sudden, he ends up getting tired of running his business, Mojang.
So, one evening in June 2014, he announced on Twitter that he would sell Mojang. In no time one IT giant contacted him and bought it for 2.5 billion dollars (2.2 billion euros).
On permanent vacation or lying in his luxury villa, he continues to tell about his life on Twitter: he complains that he no longer sees his friends, that parties in Ibiza have become boring…to make a long story short, he gets depressed.
Markus may be the victim of what is called the “Easterlin Paradox“, after the name of the economist who demonstrated it. Richard Easterlin has observed over several years that while the per capita income in the US increased, the proportion of people saying being “very happy” did not increase at the same time.
Later, other researchers found that the more money you made, the happier you felt but there was a limit: up to 75,000 dollars (about 68,000 euros) per year per household. Over this amount of money, the extra money would not make you happier!
Markus earned far more than 75,000 dollars but he has no friends, no plans for the future, and he is also depressed. He even ends up arguing with lots of people on Twitter, making comments deemed racist and misogynist.
As a result, in 2019 the big IT company who bought his business does not invite him to the 10 year anniversary of Minecraft, and deleted his name from the credits of the game. Markus gained a lot of money, but he also lost a lot.
Do you agree with the Easterlin Paradox? Would you be happier with more money? Would 75,000 dollars be enough to have a happy life? In my case, I would be definitely happy with 75,000 dollars a year!