There’s an old saying that “money can’t buy happiness”- this is true, to some extent. Plenty of rich people are sad and many poor people are happy. However, considerable data shows that economic security does, all else equal, make people happier.

Research from Princeton University shows that people with more money tend to be considerably happier than people with less. While it is important to remember that money and happiness do not always go together, we should also remember that being in poverty or low income status boosts stress levels and makes it harder for people to be happy.

Pursuing public policy choices that help generate income, boost employment and raise incomes should therefore remain a top priority for governments. For the working poor who have trouble paying rent and feeding their children, and indeed for most of us, money may not buy happiness but it does contribute to it.