Hourly employees happier than salaried

December 10, 2009

People paid by the hour exhibit a stronger relationship between income and happiness, according to a study published in the current issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (PSPB), the official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.

Researchers explored the relationship between and happiness by focusing on the organizational arrangements that make the connection between time and money. They found that the way in which an employee is paid is tied to their feeling of happiness.

The researchers theorize that hourly wage-earners focus more attention on their pay than those who earn a salary. That concrete, consistent focus on the worth of the employee's time in each paycheck influences the level of happiness the employee feels.

"Much of our day-to-day lives are subject to various organizational practices of payment that can prime different ways of thinking, such as the monetary value of one's time," write authors Sanford E. DeVoe of the University of Toronto and Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University. "It is important to consider the broader context in which people live and work in order to gain a better understanding of the determinants of happiness."

More information: "When Is About How Much You Earn? The Effect of Hourly Payment on the Money-Happiness Connection" published by SAGE in and Bulletin is available free of charge for a limited time at http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/35/12/1602 .

Source: SAGE Publications

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