SBEE Lecture Series: David Cesarini

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Ehrlicher Room, 3100 North Quad

The Social, Behavioral and Experimental Economics lecture series is sponsored by the School of Information, the Ross School of Business and the Department of Economics. Speakers from U.S. and international universities present their research at weekly seminars during the 2017-2018 academic year.

What Is the Long-Run Causal Relationship Between Wealth and Psychological Well-being?

(co-authored with Robert Östling and Erik Lindqvist)


There is a positive association between income and psychological well-being that diminishes in strength as income rises, but the causal pathways behind this association remain imperfectly understood. We surveyed a large sample of Swedish lottery players and analyzed the data following pre-registered procedures. Comparisons of large-prize winners (typical prize range: $100K - $800K) to matched controls selected from the same lottery populations allow us to make credible causal inferences about the long-run effects of wealth. For two evaluative measures of well-being – Overall Life Satisfaction and Financial Life Satisfaction – we find clear evidence of positive effects that survive multiple-hypothesis corrections and persist well over a decade after winning the lottery. The estimated treatment effects on Happiness and Mental Health are significantly smaller and not statistically different from zero.

Speaker Bio:

David Cesarini

David Cesarini is an associate professor in economics at New York University.

He is an empirically oriented economist whose research, broadly speaking, has focused on how genes and socioeconomic status, separately and interactively, matter for preferences and life outcomes. 

He is a co-founder of the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium (SSGAC), which seeks to bring cutting-edge methods from medical genomics into social-science genomics.