10.1 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

We may look at our needs before examining factors affecting our happiness. A well-known list of needs is Maslow’s (1943, 1954/1970a/1987) hierarchy of five levels/stages.Footnote 1 The first (most basic) level is the basic physiological needs of clothing, food, shelter, and sex. Next comes that of safety (including personal, employment and health); followed by love, friendship and belonging; and the fourth level of esteem, including achievement, being respected, and good reputation.Footnote 2 The highest fifth level is that of self-actualization. (Maslow estimated that only 2% of people reached this stage.)

I am in strong agreement with all the first four levels, but strongly disagree with self-actualization. First, I think that, except for the two points mentioned below, if a person has achieved the basic needs, safety, love, and esteem, she has largely actualized herself; there is no need for an extra level of self-actualization. This extra could create another Hitler that achieve self-actualization to the serious detriments of others. Secondly, the needs of the first four levels should be related to happiness of the individual concerned. Thirdly, I do want a higher fifth level, not of self-actualization, but ‘beyond oneself’. Having achieved those in the first four levels, or even before that, one should go beyond oneself to include the welfare of others, even including that of animals (on which see the final Chap. 16.

Partly based on our needs, we may also classify factors affecting our happiness into the subjective (i.e. one’s own) and objective. Subjective factors include: nature (genes, pregnancy; though pregnancy may also be regarded as a form of nurture) and nurture (nourishment, education and influence of family, school, society), including physical, personality, intelligence, emotional quotient, etc. The objective factors include: family, school, work unit, friends, society, etc. The subjective and objective factors actually interact with each other as well as with personal choice and random factors. In this process, factors such as health, mental conditions, personal relationships, income/consumption/wealth, work, life, leisure activities, etc. are all important. One also experiences happiness and unhappiness, which in turns have feedbacks to those (especially subjective) factors. Then, over time, we have dynamic evolution of the various factors and happiness levels.

10.2 The Four F’s of Happiness

Many years ago, I once (in public lectures) selected out of many factors for happiness, four particularly important ones for discussion. These are: Faith, Form/Fitness, Family, Friends—the four F’s of happiness. Why four and not three or five. This is so because there is a well-known four F’s in animal behavior. Except for sleeping (when hardly any behavior is involved), most if not all animals engage in the four F’s most of the time: Feeding, Fighting, Fleeing, Mating. (Please do not ask me or anyone else: Why they are called the four F’s, as the fourth one is an M, not an F?).

Faith includes in particular religious faith. Believers are happier than non-believers (Gundlachand Opfinger 2013). It may be that hope and spirituality may be more important here, rather than participation of religious rituals as such (Marques et al. 2013). I was brought up in a completely non-religious family. My father was a strong believer in materialism/communism in philosophy/politics; my mother, though believing in the existence of ghosts, did not practice any religious activities. However, influenced by my father, teachers, and the general atmosphere at the time (1950’s in Malaya, the main constituent of Malaysia), I was a strong believer in communism as well. Since the second year in high school, I also actively participated in the communist-led student activities. Our faith and activities then actually also contributed much to our happiness then, though also likely to the miseries of some, including those expelled from schools, imprisoned, and even killed.

The importance of religious faith to happiness is likely underestimated. Religious belief is related negatively to incomes. Despite lower incomes, the believers are happier (Inglehart 2010). Thus, the positive effect of faith to happiness must be strong enough to offset the negative effect of incomes.

The factor of ‘form/fitness’ refers to health, including both physical and mental health. Though this factor has an important element of nature (what one is born with), nurture is also important. I can say this partly from my personal experience. I am the last (seventh) child in my family. Perhaps the factory of my mother’s womb had been overworked by then (more than nine pregnancies including the still-born), I was born with somewhat below average health (and height). I remember having more illness including flu and toothache than most fellow school mates. I maintained frequent, though irregular exercises until I finished my first degree. After that, during my three years doing my PhD and the first few years as a lecturer, I had no serious exercise except mowing the lawn during spring/summer time after we bought our house. I reckon that over these 7 years or so of lack of exercise, my health conditions further deteriorated from its slightly below average level. Having realizing that, I started gradually to increase my exercise levels since around my mid 30’s. Now, I am spending about 90 min virtually every day exercising; about an hour in the morning of breathing, stretching, standups, pushups, and gongfu, plus half an hour of taiji before going to bed. After decades of catching up, my health level is now far above people of the same age, and also above myself at my thirties.

Health is not just affected by nature and exercise, but also by one’s attitude to life, lifestyle including healthy food and enough sleep. This is true for both physical and mental health.

I have a particular need to stay healthy and live long, at least until my 100 birthday in 2042. The story started from my teaching a Ford class (Sino-American Economics Training Centre) of graduates in Renmin University in Beijing over 1992–1993. Towards the end of that semester in March 1993, I made an appointment with the 40 students in the class to have a reunion after 16.5 years. Twenty of the forty students attended the reunion on 30 September 1999. At the end of the reunion, we made another appointment for another reunion after 16.5 × 2 = 33 years from then, or on 30 September 2042, when I will already be 100 years old. Since not many in that Ford class may be able to attend the next reunion, we also decided to extend the invitation to all my students. If you regard yourself as my student, you may come. Moreover, since I could do only about 20 pushups when I was in my 20 s, and 60 pushups in my 60 s, I will try to do 100 pushups in one go then. Thus, I have to live long and stay healthy. I am doing around 78 pushups every morning now, and adding one more every year. By 2042, I should be able to do 100! Haha!

For the last two F’s of happiness: family and friends. I will say a few words on the last factor (friends) before discussing ‘family’ a little more later.

The importance of friendship for happiness is obvious for everyone. There are quite a few old Chinese sayings relating to this, e.g. ‘At home, you rely on your parents; away from home, you rely on your friends’; ‘With friends coming from afar, I am so happy!’ In many Western countries, it is very important for many men to have a pint of bear with friends chatting at a bar. Studies also confirm the importance of friendship for happiness. However, it is more important to have one or a few good friends with whom one can share intimate joys and sorrows than having many friends. Here, it seems that quality is much more important than quantity.

The company of some friends enhances the mood at good activities and even turn negative moods into positive for undesirable activities. ‘For example, to hike or walk alone raises mood by 2%, while a shared walk raises mood by much more, by 7.5% with a friend or 8.9% with a partner. Activities that normally worsen moods can induce happiness when done in the company of a friend or partner. Commuting or traveling, activities that on average worsen mood levels (−1.9%) are happiness-inducing when shared with friends or partners, with mood up 5.3% for a trip shared with a friend, or 3.9% with a partner. Even waiting or queueing, a significant negative when done alone (-3.5%) becomes a net positive when the experience is done with the company of a friend (+3.5%)’ (World Happiness Report 2020, Chap. 1).Footnote 3

Now on family. Before one forms one’s own family, the relationship with parents and siblings are very important for happiness.Footnote 4 Similarly, these relationships are also very important for the happiness of parents. Most people have personal understanding of these from personal experience, if not also from watching TV and reading novels. When one grows up, one may get married to form one’s own family. Despite the popular saying ‘marriage is the grave of love’, marriage is actually, on average, good for happiness.

In 2018, a study in U.S. lasting for three decades, discovered that 40% of the married regarded themselves as very happy; for those not married, this figure is only 24%. This is not a special case. Actually, many happiness studies consistently find that the married are happier than those not married. For happiness, marriage and employment are twice as important as incomes (Caroll 2007). Some researcher even estimated that, on average, a single person has to increase her/his income level to 13.8 times the existing level, to attain the same happiness level as the married (Dockery 2005).Footnote 5 Note that this is not 13.8% higher, but 13.8 times the original income. Except for very unusual fortunes, this huge increase in income is almost impossible; it is easier to get married. However, one must not marry any other person of the opposite sex. You have to find the right person. Those trying to get a divorce are much less happy than the singles. One aspect of a suitable spouse is similarity in personality (agreeableness and openness in particular) and values (moral identity and spirituality) which contribute not only to the life satisfaction of the couple but also the children (Wu et al. 2020).

You may suspect that the causal relationship may be reversed. It may not be that marriage increases your happiness; rather, it may be that the happier persons choose to marry, or easier to get a mate. While this reverse causal effect is likely applicable to some extent, further research shows that the beneficial effects of marriage on happiness are more important (Horiand Kamo 2017; Tao 2019).Footnote 6 Groverand Helliwell (2019, Abstract) ‘control individual pre-marital well-being levels and find that the married are still more satisfied, suggesting a causal effect at all stages of the marriage, from pre-nuptual bliss to marriages of long-duration’.

Why does marriage increase happiness? The most direct reason is the satisfaction of needs. Except for very few cases of artificial fertilization, sex between a man and a woman is needed to have babies and for the species to continue. Thus, to ensure the accomplishment of this mission, we have evolved the capacity for high enjoyment of sex.

You may argue that one does not have to get married to have sex. However, long-term well-adjusted partnership may achieve high levels in various relationships, not attainable by a one-night stand or commercial sex. In economic analysis, there is something called ‘learning by doing’. This is also applicable to sexual relationship. Studies show that the best relationship is achieved after 15 years or longer: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/jul/23/why-sex-is-better-in-a-long-term-relationship.

About forty years ago, when the 50+ years old wife of a high official in China passed away, he was very sad. A colleague told him, ‘With you wife gone, you may marry a younger one, isn’t this nice?’ When reading this report then, I was agreeable with that colleague. Now I understand more why that official was very sad. Though younger women are more attractive in look, a well-adjusted long-term partner is more beneficial to happiness, as studies show. Of course, apart from sex, there are also other relationships between a husband and wife. Man is a social animal and are born not to like loneliness.

From an economic or financial aspect, marriage is also advantageous. The ideas of division of labor and economies of scale also apply here. Men and women are good in different things and can cooperate to achieve much better results in many areas. Cooking for two persons certainly costs much less than twice the time of doing that for one person.

A few years back, an interesting paper entitled ‘Are all good men married? The conclusion is: ‘Not that all good men are married; but rather, after being married and having a good wife to assist him, that he becomes a high-earning good man’ (王智波、李长洪 2016, 第838页; my translation) . Thus, with the right partner, marriage is likely an arrangement that is most mutually beneficial.

Since marriage is good for us financially, biologically, and spiritually, why is the institution of marriage seems to be on the decline, with some people (e.g. 俞炜华 2011) even regarding it as being restrictive of human nature and will vanish in due course? (See 黄有光 2013 for a defense of the institution of marriage against this argument.)

First, though marriage is good for our happiness, many do not sufficiently recognize this fact. For example, in Netherlands and the U.S., most people believe that marriage will not increase our life satisfaction, but actually, studies show that their life satisfaction is positively affected by marriage (Kapteyn et al. 2010, p. 99).

Secondly, we are usually misled by news reports and gossips. We often hear that someone’s marriage has broken up, or the relationship is in trouble, making people believe that ‘marriage is the grave of love’. Actually, most happy marriages attract little reports and gossips, but marriages in trouble do. When you enjoy yourself much in your home, you do not talk to friends and relatives about it; when you have relationship problems, you may seek help from them. This asymmetry may mislead bystanders. This is related to the saying, ‘Good news does not go out of your doorstep; bad news is spread thousands of miles away’.

One example of the exaggeration of bad news is this. Over many decades, it has been said that more than 50% of marriages in the U.S. will end up in divorce, and that this figure is still increasing. Actually, this was only an estimated figure for the future that never realizes. In the 1970’s, after the relaxation of the divorce laws in the U.S., the rates of divorce increased rapidly. Someone then extrapolated the future divorce rates to break the 50% line, based on that short-term increase. But this prediction never comes true. Actually, the divorce rates in the U.S. have declined substantially over the last four decades, with the number of divorces for every thousand married women declining from 22.6 in 1980 to 16.9 in 2015, and remaining around this lower figure since. However, the 50% figure has spread widely and still believed by many.

Yet another reason for the underestimation of the benefits of marriage is that these benefits are largely longer-term, not fully realized in the short run. According to a U.S. study (Amatoand James 2018), happiness increases after marriage, but then decreases somewhat over the next few years, reaching a low at around 5–10 years after marriage. Thus, the so-called ‘seven-years itch’ has some validity. Nevertheless, after more than ten or twenty years after marriage, happiness increases back significantly. A report by the government of Shanghai shows a similar result. More than 80% of women in Shanghai are happy, but those women married for less than three years have the lowest happiness levels. Those with the highest happiness levels have been married for 20 years or longer, as reported in United Morning Daily, Singapore’s leading Chinese newspaper (《联合早报》2015.10.28). Marriage has to be cultivated for a long time to produce great happiness.

Thus, the saying ‘Marriage is the grave of love’ is largely based on unreliable guess, inaccurate or misleading reports/gossips, and the inadequate recognition of the long-term effects. Thus, persons of marriageable age should not be misled by this saying. They should get a good partner to marry.

In 2014, at a function for new students, I was asked to give a talk. Among other points, I mentioned this. During this few years of study, do not just get a degree; get a partner as well. University study is the golden age for finding a partner: more opportunities, more information, more sincerity. However, I also told them, ‘If you have not got a partner yet, you cannot beat me, because my wife and I started dating each other in our high school days and got married soon after our degrees!’.

For those already married, they should not give it up easily. It may take time to make a marriage work well. However, for those unsalvageable relationship, the divorce option should not be excluded altogether. Instead of suffer a long time to maintain an unhappy marriage, ending the relationship and get a new start may be better.

These days, many people cohabitate without getting married. Is cohabitation as good as marriage for happiness? A study in the U.K. shows that both cohabitation and happiness are good for happiness. However, for those first time getting married, marriage increases life satisfaction more than cohabitation does (Blekesaune 2018). For people in the East, due to the higher traditional views about marriage, this advantage of marriage over cohabitation is likely to be even bigger. Also, a higher degree of commitment in partnership increases life satisfaction (Bucher et al. 2019).

There is an interesting difference between men and women regarding marriage. A study on more than two thousand persons (Liu et al. 2013) shows that, for men’s life satisfaction, whether one is married or not is important; for women, the quality of the marriage is more important. The old Chinese saying, ‘It is important for a man not to enter a wrong business; it is important for a woman not to marry a wrong husband’, has some validity. Of course, the quality of marriage is important for both men and women; however, it is more important for women. Thus, the extra care (in comparison to men) taken by a woman in choosing a partner does not only have an evolutionary reason (Sect. 10.3), but also a rational one (consistent with happiness calculation).

There is another interesting finding in China. For those university-educated females, those with the highest happiness level are ‘with family but no job’; next comes those ‘with family and job’; further down are those with ‘job but no family’. The least happy are those with neither job nor family (吴要武、刘倩 2014, 第27页). Family and job are both important, but at least for females, family is more important than job.

An important question especially for parents is: For the future happiness when grown up, what factors are important when young? Layard et al. (2014) show that the most important factor is emotional health, followed by characters or conduct, with the least important one being intellectual development, out of these three important factors. Thus, for the true happiness of children rather than your own face, do not give too much pressure on children to perform well in examination; much more important to help them develop well on emotional health, and behave properly, particularly by setting examples yourselves.

10.3 Important Factors at the Social Level

The above factors affecting happiness, the 4 F’s in particular, focus at the individual level. For the social level, there are many other factors important for the happiness of individuals in the society. This include environmental quality, equality (in the distribution of incomes and wealth), freedom, democracy, government quality (Helliwelland Huang 2008), social capital, etc. On the importance of social capital, see Neira et al. 2019; on the importance of trust, an important element of social capital, see Hudson 2006; Helliwelland Wang 2011; Helliwell et al. 2014; on the importance of social trust especially for urban males, see Lu et al. 2020, b; on the importance of mental capital, which is more on the individual level, see Ho 2013. Also, Chap. 7 of the World Happiness Report 2020 finds that higher personal and institutional trust are key factors in explaining why life evaluations are high in the Nordic countries.

On democracy, Frey and Stutzer (2002) comparing situations in different cantons in Switzerland, find that direct election is positively associated with happiness, both in getting people’s preferred results, and also in higher satisfaction in the democratic process. On the other hand, Chinese researchers (陈前恒 et al. 2014) find that each 1% increase in democratic development in the village, increases well-being equivalent to 18.47% increase in per-capita net income. This is a huge effect. (On the importance of political participation on farmers’ happiness, see also Tang et al. 2020.)

Freedom is positively associated with happiness (Veenhoven 2000), but mainly for rich countries; not for poor countries, except for economic freedom. Free trade related positively to happiness in poor, but not in rich countries. This is consistent with the higher positive relationship of income levels before US$7,500 per-capita per year than after this level. Free trade increases effective consumption and hence is important for people at lower incomes. Similarly, economic and legal institutions are more important to low-income countries, while political institutions are more important to rich countries (Bjornskov et al. 2010; Helliwell et al. 2014). On the importance of economic freedom, see also Graafland (2020) especially on the interdependence of culture and institutions.

Equality (in both income and wealth distribution) increases happiness in many ways. First, human beings are not as strong as tigers physically, and hence we rely largely on our intelligence (in its generalized sense of including IQ, EQ and wisdom) and cooperation to survive and prosper. Our sense for equality and justice helps us to cooperate better and hence we are probably universally born with a preference for equality. This is further strengthened by nurture as our education and culture are also equality-friendly. Hence, a higher degree of equality, if not achieved at prohibitive costs, allows the society to be better off because individuals directly feel better off with higher equality.

Secondly, consumption of the poor meets more urgent needs than that of the rich, at the margin. That is to say, the last one thousand dollars of spending probably contribute little if anything to the utility or welfare of a rich person, but may mean a lot to one with low consumption. Thus, a higher degree of equality promotes more aggregate welfare, through the differentials in the marginal utility of consumption. This argument is based on the interpersonal comparability of cardinal utility/welfare that many economists frown upon traditionally, but is defended in Chap. 6 above. The age of insisting upon only ordinal measurability and interpersonal non-comparability is, or at least should be, over.

Thirdly, equality reduces crimes and promotes social harmony. This has been known for a long time. However, recent research emphasizing the efficiency-promoting effects of equality has shifted economists’ view. Formerly, economists (e.g. Mirrlees 1971; Okun 1975/2015) focused on the tradeoff between equality and efficiency. That is, if we promote equality, we need to sacrifice a bit of efficiency, e.g. taxing the rich to help the poor incurs not only administrative costs, but also creates the disincentive effects that discourage the earning of more money. Now, economists focus on the beneficial effects of equality on efficiency and growth.

One important aspect here is related to the shift from physical to human capital as being important for economic growth. When physical capital was important, inequality increased growth by increasing savings by the rich and hence increased capital accumulation and economic growth; as human capital becomes more important, equality increases the contribution of widespread education and hence growth (Milanovic 2011). In addition, ‘Economic historians have shown (Solar 1995; Greifand Iyigun 2013) that the net effect of the Poor Law was probably to foster technological progress, because it weakened the resolve of the inevitable losers to resist it and thus reduced social unrest’ (Mokyr 2014, p.192). Also, ‘…economic historians such as Lindert (2004, 2009) … have shown the complex, but on the whole favorable, effect of the Welfare State on economic performance to the point where the full economic benefits and costs may have been roughly equal, making the Welfare State a “free lunch”’ (Mokyr 2014, p.191). This suggests that more equality-improving welfare spending may be welfare improving, since equality also contributes to welfare more directly as discussed above.Footnote 7 This is consistent with a recent result that ‘Tax policy that alleviates poverty improves economic growth in most instances’ (Biswas et al. 2017, p. 724).

Equality also reduces crimes and increases social harmony and trust, and trust increases happiness (Uslaner 2001). There is much evidence that inequality is negative to happiness; see Hagerty (2000), Fahey and Smyth (2004), Oshioand Urakawa (2013), Huang et al. (2016), Ding et al. (2020) and the second half of Chap. 2, World Happiness Report 2020. Oishi et al. (2012) show that countries with higher progressivity in the income tax system have higher happiness levels. Using data in China, Ding et al. (2020, Abstract) show that ‘both absolute and relative income affect subject well-being, and that an inverted-U shaped relationship between income inequality and individual well-being appears at least for urban residents, whereas this relationship tend to be negative in the case of people living in rural areas’. There are also indirect evidence of the desirability of equality. In the U.S., regional death rates are highly related to inequality (Kaplan et al. 1996; Lynch et al. 1998). In Italy, inequality is more important than income and education for the effects on death rates (De Vogli et al. 2005).Footnote 8

The importance of equality is not only for its material/financial aspects, but for the sense of justice/fairness. (On the negative effects of inequality in both income and life satisfaction on trust and hence happiness, see Graaflandand Lous 2019.) A small story may be told here. Decades ago in China under Mao, dating at high school was much discouraged if not outright prohibited. A young couple disobeyed the advice not to date. Partly as a means to separate the two, the boy was sent down to the village. Though not sent down to the much difficult living and working conditions of a village, the girl went to stay with her lover in the village. Then came the Autumn Festival and each family was distributed with one mooncake. The youngster came home with the mooncake before his lover came home. During those days of starvation, he could not resist the temptation of eating half of the cake before her return. However, once tasting the delicious mooncake in a semi-hunger situation, he could not restrain himself and ended up swallowing the whole cake. When the girl came back, she happily asked, ‘I heard that we have a mooncake’. He sadly told her that he had eaten it all. She kept silent for a few minutes, and then burst out, ‘I follow you to the horrible conditions of the village to be with you. And … And you did not even keep my share of the cake for me?!’ She packed up and left him to go back home to the city. What the strong state power failed to separate was easily done by half a mooncake.

An issue related to inequality is relative income/consumption/standing. In economics, this has been analysed from Rae (1834) and Veblen (1899) to Frank (1999). This relative competition is not just important for the rich; even in poor villages in China and India, it is more important than absolute income (Luttmer 2005; Knight et al. 2009a, b; Knightand Gunatilaka 2010; Linssen et al. 2011; Guillen-Royo 2011; Fontaineand Yamada 2012. Cf. Garrard 2012; Huang et al. 2016; Li 2017; Asadullah et al. 2018; Luo et al. 2018; Collischon 2019; Sherman et al. 2019; Bakkeli 2020; Zhangand Wang, 2020). Some researchers (e.g. Layard et al. 2010) even regard ‘All effects are relative’. This resonates with the Confucian saying that ‘No worry about poverty, but about inequality’. Even in health care, where one expects that the absolute levels are more important, relative standing is more important than absolute level. The relatively poor, even with higher absolute income and health care, have lower absolute health outcomes (Wilkinson 1997).

The importance of relative standing is largely evolutionary-biological. To pass on your genes you need to attract good mates. Here, it is more important to be better than your competitors than just to have high values. This is particularly so for males. Before the short history of common monogamy, the head-man of a tribe could mate with all women. But a woman is limited by the requirement of 9 months of pregnancy, years of nursing and caring to ensure that the child will be able to survive. Thus, men are more competitive, trying to go to the top, much more than women. However, that they have the higher urge does not necessarily means that they are also better leaders than women. With their higher EQ and language abilities, perhaps women are better leaders.

I mentioned this during a class of a dozen PhD students at Monash University more than ten years ago. A female student from China objected that a woman should only be No. 2, not No.1. I was very surprised and asked why. She said that women are more emotional, especially during their monthly periods. Perhaps she had a point. But an Australian girl student objected very vehemently. The Chinese girl said, ‘See! Aren’t you very emotional now?’ When I told this story to another class at Nanyang Technological University some years later, a male student said that, by the time she is ready to lead either a nation, an enterprise, or a university, a woman is typically well pass the time of having monthly periods. This is largely true. However, the Chinese girl student may still be right that, even outside the monthly periods, women are more emotional. Also, the recent birth of a baby by the young female prime minister of New Zealand is also a counter example. Likely a counter example in both the following opposite senses: that they are no longer having periods; that they are too emotional to lead well. As often, many factors are involved.

There is another troubling gender difference. In early decades of happiness study, at least in the U.S., women happiness was originally found to be higher than men. However, in recent decades, despite (or because of ?) much higher gender equalization, this advantage of women has decreased and disappeared (Kahneman et al. 1999; Stevensonand Wolfers 2009).Footnote 9 Kahneman believes that this may be due to more honesty in report or higher demands due to higher opportunities. Thus, this is related to the possible divergences between true happiness and reported happiness. Ho (2013) disagrees and believes that it may be due to the higher housework responsibilities of women, despite both having full-time jobs. Also, Audette et al. (2019) find the promotion of gender equality increases happiness for both sexes. Again, multiple factors are likely involved and further studies are needed.

Employment and price stability are also important for happiness. In economics, there is a well-known formula that the misery index = unemployment rate + inflation rate. However, according to happiness studies, this formula should be seriously revised. Instead of being equally important in contributing to happiness or misery, each percentage point of unemployment reduces happiness 5 times that of each percentage point of inflation (Blanchflower et al. 2014). It is interesting to note that an increase in unemployment benefits increases the happiness of both the unemployed and the employed (Di Tella et al. 2003). With reasonable unemployment benefits, perhaps the employed also feel more secure. Also, while people may adjust or adapt, over time, to many problems, but it is very difficult to adjust to being unemployed, even given time (Clark and Georgellis 2013).