Marriage is worth £18,000 to men, but just £9,000 to women, according to an Australian economist who claims he has discovered a formula to determine the cost of happiness.
Paul Frijters, a professor at Queensland University of Technology, has calculated a formula he claims delivers the monetary equivalent of the value of various milestones in life.
The figures represent a lump sum a person would need to receive out of the blue in order to make him or her as happy as marriage would over a lifetime.
When it comes to divorce, a man would be so devastated it would feel as if he had lost £61,500. A woman would be far less traumatised, feeling as though she had only lost £5,000.
Prof Frijters, who was this year named the best economist aged under 40, has tracked major life events of 10,000 people since 2001.
He said: "These are real people to whom unexpected things happen.
"They were not selected because these things would happen and because of that, we can accurately compare their happiness before and after."
Australians were asked to describe how satisfied they were with their lives on a scale of 0 to 10.
The most common number given was eight - but the answer changed after, and sometimes in anticipation of, major life events and also sudden changes in income.
That enabled Prof Frijters to put cash values on the effects of happiness of major events such as marriage, divorce and illnesses.
He said: "Losing a loved one has a much bigger effect than gaining a loved one. There's a real asymmetry between life and death.
"This shouldn't surprise us. Human beings seem primed to notice losses more than gains."
The death of a partner or child caused a woman £73,000 loss, while to a man, a similar loss was worth more than £350,000, according to the calculations.
Prof Frijters said: "This isn't the value of the life that's lost, that would be much higher of course.
"This is just the effect on the happiness of one person flowing from a death."
Asked why his calculations show men much more affected by life's events than women, the professor could not give a reason, but said: "We know for instance that marriage improves the lives of men much more than women."
Professor Frijters concluded that money had a greater effect on happiness than previously thought.
结婚：女性/8, 726.25英镑，男性/17, 675.68英镑
Marriage woman - £8, 726.25 man - £17, 675.68
孩子出生：女性/4, 866.77英镑，男性/18, 236.39英镑
Birth of child woman - £ 4, 866.77 man - £18, 236.39
离异：女性/-4, 977.08英镑，男性/-61, 116.46英镑
Divorce woman - £4, 977.08 (loss) man - £61, 116.46 (loss)
亲人去世：女性/-73, 204.86英镑，男性/-350, 830.36英镑
Death of a loved one woman - £73, 204.86 (loss) man - £350, 830.36 (loss)
生病：女性/-28, 124.61英镑，男性/-201, 264.68英镑
Illness woman - £28, 124.61(loss) man - £201, 264.68 (loss)
搬家：女性/-1, 453.80英镑，男性/-8, 947.11英镑
Moving house woman - £1, 453.80 (gain) man - £8, 947.11 (loss)
2009-11-18 19:19 编辑：kuaileyingyu
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