Hasta la victoria siempre

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Banii nu sporesc semnificativ fericirea nici pentru saraci


Articolul „Money Won't Buy Happiness, Study Finds; Poverty-reduction Programs Need To Also Look At Improving People's Well-being”, publicat la 8 sept. 2009, prezinta concluziile profesorului Mariano Rojas legate de bani si fericire. Conform acestuia, banii nu reausesc sa sporeasca fericirea nici macar a celor mai saraci.

„The majority of people rated their lives as satisfactory or more than satisfactory. Not all people who were considered ‘poor' experienced low life satisfaction and not all people who were not considered ‘poor' were happy with their lives. Professor Rojas observed that only 24 percent of people classified as ‘poor' rated their life satisfaction as low. Furthermore, 18 percent of people in the ‘non-poor' category also reported low life satisfaction. It is therefore clear that poverty alone does not define an individual's overall well-being and it is possible for someone to come out of poverty and remain less than satisfied with his life. On the other hand, a person can be satisfied with his life even if his income is low, as long as he is moderately satisfied in other areas of life such as family, self, health, job and economic.”

Oricat ar parea de surprinzator la prima vedere, iata ca numai 24% dintre saraci nu sunt multumiti de viata lor, procent aproape egal cu cel al persoanelor non-sarace, dintre acestia 18% fiind nefericiti.

„Professor Rojas argues that social programs need to recognize that well-being depends on satisfaction in many domains of life, and that many qualities and attributes need to be considered when designing these programs, including leisure, education, the community and consumer skills (learning to spend higher income sensibly).
Professor Rojas concludes: "This paper has shown that it is possible to jump over the income poverty line with little effect on life satisfaction. Income is not an end but a means to an end. There is a big risk of neglecting and underestimating the importance of well-being-enhancing factors when focusing only on income poverty. It is important to worry about getting people out of income poverty, but it is more beneficial to also worry about the additional skills people need to have a more satisfying life."”

Asadar, programele de eradicare a saraciei, care in esenta urmaresc sporirea bunastarii si fericirii, trebuie sa se axese inclusiv pe recreere, educatie si pe eficacitatea cheltuirii banilor. Dupa cum subliniaza Rojas, este foarte posibil sa treci peste limita saraciei fara a deveni mai fericit. Eradicarea saraciei este importanta, dar reprezinta doar o mica portiune din drumul spre fericire.

Intr-o ciorna a studiului citat aici, Rojas enumera cateva motive, explicatii, pentru care banii au un impact atat de slab asupra satisfactiei personale:


Banii nu pot cumpara elemente esentiale ale satisfactiei
„First, not everything of value can be purchased. Income allows for buying economic goods but has little impact on a person’s access to non-economic goods. Recent literature (Bruni and Stanca, 2005; Gui and Sugden, 2005; and Sugden, 2005) states that relational goods (love, emotional support, friendship, correspondence of sentiments, good relations with neighbours
and colleagues, and so on) have a large impact on well-being. In an empirical study based on a survey applied in central Mexico, Rojas (2007a) shows that satisfaction with partner, children and family is crucial for life satisfaction. Because of their nature, relational goods can not be purchased and a market can not exist. The production of relational goods is time intensive, and because of time constraint the production of such goods may end-up conflicting with the production of income.”

Iubirea, sustinerea afectiva, prietenia, relatiile bune cu vecinii si colegii etc. nu se pot cumpara dar sunt fundamentale pentru fericire.

De multe ori, banii nu sunt cheltuiti eficient
„Second, income may not be used efficiently. An increase in income may lead to little or no increase in well-being if persons do not have the skills to use income efficiently. There is a vast literature that questions the rationality of persons, as well as their ability to correctly foresee the well-being impact of their consumption decisions (Scitovsky, 1976; Hsee and Hastie, 2006;
Thaler, 1980, 1992, 2000; Tversky and Kahneman, 1974, 1981, 1986; Loewenstein and Schkade, 1999). Using 1500 observations from a survey in central Mexico, Rojas (2007b) has found that X-inefficiency in the use of income is relatively large and it shows up at all income levels.”

Degeaba ai bani daca nu stii cum sa-i cheltui, iar studiile arata ca nu de putine ori, oamenii nu au aceasta abilitate.

Comparatiile inter-sociale
„Fourth, consumers may not attain satisfaction from their consumption due to their immersion within social structures. The idea that well-being increases with higher income relies on the assumption that well-being depends on absolute consumption but not on relative consumption. Social thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and Thorstein Veblen recognised that needs
may be socially influenced. Recent research (Frank, 1985, 2005; Schor, 2002; Alpizar et al., 2005) has shown that the satisfaction attained from the consumption of some goods is contingent on the consumption of other members of the community (reference groups). Hence, it may be that absolute consumption is not closely related to a person’s well-being.”

Adica nu conteaza atat de mult cat consumi, cat mai ales cat consumi in comparatie cu ceilalti. In aceasta situatie, un milionar care locuieste intr-o comunitate de multi-milionari va fi nefericit, oricat de mult ar consuma individual.

Bogatia satisface nevoi superficiale
„The extent to which consumption impacts on well-being. The ordinal utility approach in economics states that utility is ‘non-decreasing on income’, i.e. a higher income allows for the satisfaction of more wants and desires, which leads to higher utility. However, it is impossible to know how much well-being increases as a consequence of the satisfaction of some wants and desires. It could be that satisfying some additional wants and desires have little impact on a person’s well-being, even if income is used efficiently. Hence, it could happen that an increase in income does not have a strong impact on well-being.”

Nu e deloc clar cat de importanta pentru fericirea noastra e satisfacerea dorintelor care apar atunci cand avem mai multi bani. Se poate ca acestea sa fie simple mofturi, snobisme, care desi scump, nu au un impact considerabil asupra bunastarii noastre.

Trebuie subliniat si accentul pus de Rojas pe importanta recreerii: „The importance of leisure must not be neglected, even at low income levels. Lloyd and Auld (2001) and Lu and Hu (2005) have shown that leisure is an important source of well-being and that its use in social activities is wellbeing enhancing. Klumb and Perrez (2004) provide a survey of the importance of leisure for well-being. Furnham (1991) discusses the principles for leisure satisfaction. Palomar (2000) shows that access to recreational areas and parks is strongly related to psychological well-being
in Mexico City.”

Putem retine din aceasta expunere ca banii conteaza putin pana si pentru cei aflati in saracie. Desi e dezirabil sa fie trecut pragul saraciei, chiar si la aceste nivele scazute materiale, satisfactia de viata poate creste semnificativ doar atunci cand sunt luate in calcul numeroase aspecte non-pecuniare.

2 comments:

costin said...

sincer, nu inteleg de ce era nevoie de un articol asa de lung ca sa zici ca banii nu aduc, sau sporesc substantial feiricirea. acesta e un lcuru de bun simt pe care orice om cu capul pe umeri il stie.

problema este ca bunul simt este ceea ce a cam disparut din lumea asta si este nevoie de tot felul de studii savante, pe care ii fac pe unii sa se simta intelectuali, pentru a se raspunde la intrebari la care orice om rezonabil are de mult raspunsurile

downshifting_romania said...

Ai dreptate, faptul ca banii nu aduc fericirea este, pana la urma, un adevar aproape de la sine inteles. E la fel de clar insa ca societatea capitalista contemporana se bazeaza si functioneaza pe credinta diametral opusa: bogatia individuala si sporirea consumului inseamna succes si fericire. Ca sa combati o credinta atat de larg raspandita e nevoie atat de argumente de bun simt cat si de demonstratiile stiintifice. Altfel spus, atata timp cat exista multi care iau in serios raportul dintre materialism si fericire, trebuie sa existe argumente serioase care sa il respinga.