Yes, it does! Well, obviously, money alone won’t do the trick. We need friends and family, health and security, work and leisure time, freedom and respect, trust and meaning. But material wellbeing is of great importance, as this impressing study by Angus Deaton shows:
Do not miss the world map of life satisfaction and the graphs showing some major correlations at the end of the study (from page 40)!!
“During 2006, the Gallup Organization conducted a World Poll that used an identical questionnaire for national samples of adults from 132 countries. I analyze the data on life satisfaction (happiness) and on health satisfaction and look at their relationships with national income, age, and life-expectancy. Average happiness is strongly related to per capita national income; each doubling of income is associated with a near one point increase in life satisfaction on a scale from 0 to 10. Unlike most previous findings, the effect holds across the range of international incomes; if anything, it is slightly stronger among rich countries.” (Abstract)
“The very strong international relationship between per capita GDP and life satisfaction suggests that, on average, people have a good idea of how income, or the lack of it, affects their lives. It is simply not true that the people of India are as satisfied with their lives as the people of France, let alone Denmark, nor is it true that people in sub-Saharan Africa, or Afghanistan, or Iraq, or Cambodia, are as happy as people in India. Beyond that, the misery of many of the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union seems plausible enough, as does the special misery of the elderly in those countries.” (p.32)