Salary envy makes you happy

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  • You might think that bosses on big salaries would be loathed but for junior staff it provides aspirations

    Young workers gain encouragement from senior colleagues doing financially well, according to a new report.

    Workers get a high level of satisfaction from seeing their peers earn more than them because they believe they have the same chance of becoming a success.

    But the report claims this level of aspiration has a time limit with those over 45 becoming frustrated and miserable if they are still earning less than those around them.

    ‘People are generally made less happy by comparisons,’ says co-author Professor Feliz FitzRoy from the University of St Andrews School of Economics and Finance.

    ‘The higher their peer group income, the worse they feel. But for young people it’s the opposite.’

    But Professor FitzRoy says the findings could have worrying implications for those at the beginning of their careers.

    ‘In a situation like the current austerity, these aspirations are being systematically destroyed because young graduates are lucky to get jobs and if they do, they are usually below their qualifications.’


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