How closely related are financial satisfaction and subjective well-being? Systematic review and meta-analysis

Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba, Christopher J Armitage, Maria Panagioti, Alex Hodkinson

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Financial satisfaction is considered one of the determinants of Subjective well-being (SWB), yet the assumption that financial satisfaction is closely associated with SWB has not been tested across nations. This first systematic review and meta-analysis examined the association between financial satisfaction and SWB and to test whether any association is affected by key operational and methodological factors. Following Cochrane and PRISMA guidelines, a systematic (Web of Science, Medline, Embase, PsycINFO and Google scholar) search was conducted (January 1980–August 2019). Meta-analyses, meta-regressions and subgroup analysis using random-effects models were performed. 24 studies were included in the meta-analysis and the overall association between financial satisfaction and SWB was medium, significant and positive (pooled r = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.38–0.44; Q = 7108, I2 = 99.7%, p < 0.001). Univariate meta-regressions showed that studies conducted in countries that were more developed (B = 0.14, 95% CI: 0.05, 0.24, I2 = 79%, R2 = 51%), and had used multiple items (B = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.18, I2 = 72%, R2 = 30%) instead of single were significantly associated with better financial satisfaction and greater SWB. Our findings highlight the need for designing better tools to measure these core societal concepts; to improve financial satisfaction and hence SWB across the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101522
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics
Early online date15 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy.


  • Happiness, Life satisfaction, Subjective well-being, Financial satisfaction, Income, Quality of life.

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