Time Use and Happiness of Millionaires

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Time Use and Happiness of Millionaires
Publication Date: 
June, 2018
Harvard Business School

Abstract: How do the wealthy spend their time, and does their time use relate to their greater well-being? Two large-scale surveys of millionaires and the general population show that millionaires spend their time in surprisingly similar ways as the general population. For example, millionaires spend the same amount of time as the general population cooking, shopping, and eating – and even spend more time on household chores. However, while millionaires and non-millionaires also spend the same amount of time engaging in leisure activities, a critical difference emerged: the wealthy engage in more active leisure (e.g., exercising and volunteering) and less passive leisure (e.g., watching TV and relaxing). Moreover, the extent to which wealthy individuals engage in greater active leisure helps to explain the gap in life satisfaction between millionaires and the general population. Together, these results further our understanding of when and how wealth translates into well-being.

Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 18-111

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