High cost of happiness

January 31, 2003

Andrew Oswald and Andrew Clark of the University of Warwick school of economics have worked out the cost of happiness - and it is very expensive.

Their study calculates the financial value of the contentment brought by events such as marriage and the costs that follow the distress of divorce and widowhood. They hope it will be used by courts to calculate compensation for victims of crime.

They value health at about £500,000, marriage at £70,000, widowhood brings unhappiness that would take £170,000 a year to offset, and separation £132,000.

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