Where in England has the highest rate of bankruptcies?

Measured at a rate of per 10,000 of population. 

Which areas in UK have highest and lowest earnings?

Using data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (2017), I've built this map of weekly earnings across the UK. In the interactive map below you can scroll over specific areas. 

When looking at earnings by where employees live, those in Kensington and Chelsea had the highest median gross weekly income (£862), while those in West Somerset had the lowest (£407).

Which occupations have seen largest rise and fall in earnings?

Should we choose the best paid or the happiest career?

Using government data, I plot occupations on both their average subjective wellbeing and median earnings. You can scroll over the points to see which occupation each point represents. The happiest occupation is a clergymen. The most well paid jobs are pilots and doctors. Except for the extreme outlier of clergymen, the graph suggests that the best paid jobs also tend to employ the happiest workers. 

Can "Cash on Hand" Buy Happiness?

While financial advisors would surely disapprove, keeping cash on hand may have hedonic benefits. 

In a paper from 2016 (see here). We show that 'cash on hand'—the balance of one’s checking and savings accounts— may be a better predictor of life satisfaction than income. In a field study using 585 U.K. bank customers, we paired individual survey responses on life satisfaction with account data held by the bank, including the full account balances for each respondent. Individuals with higher liquid wealth were found to have more positive perceptions of their financial well-being, which, in turn, predicted higher life satisfaction, suggesting that liquid wealth is indirectly associated with life satisfaction.

This effect persisted after accounting for multiple controls, including investments, total spending, and indebtedness (which predicted financial well-being) and demographics (which predicted life satisfaction).

Our results suggest that having readily accessible sources of cash is of unique importance to life satisfaction, above and beyond raw earnings, investments, or indebtedness. Therefore, to improve the well-being of citizens, policymakers should focus not just on boosting incomes but also on increasing people’s immediate access to money.

Figure 1. Liquid Wealth and Satisfaction with Life.

Figure 2. Liquid Wealth and Financial distress

What drives savings behaviour? Different psychological traits influence the 'established' and the 'striving' differently.

Research often assumes that the influence of psychological characteristics on savings behaviour is the same across demographic or socio-economic groups. Yet, it is also possible that psychological characteristics influence an individual’s propensity to save differently based on life-cycle stage, gender, education level, or income – factors which themselves also influence savings behavior.

In a paper published earlier this year, we use a technique called a finite mixture model. We apply this approach to a representative sample of UK households (n = 3382) and identify two different groups of people in the UK: 'striving' and 'established' households. We find that the relationship between psychological characteristics and savings behavior differs across these two classes, demonstrating that  different psychological characteristics – such as self-control – will be more or less influential on savings behavior depending on an individual’s environment and life-cycle stage

Ever wondered how much Oxford business undergrads make after 5 years? Me neither. But now we know it's £160k.

The UK Government has started collecting a new, interesting data set. The longitudinal education outcomes (LEO) data matches tax and benefits data to university graduation data, to see which groups of students earn the most (and least) after graduating. The dataset is publicly available here.

I was playing with the 2017 LOE data, looking at business school students. I was surprised by how dramatic the Oxbridge-skew is in earnings, especially after 5 years.

You can see that while the median income across all business graduates is about £28,000. It is £160,000 for Oxford grads in business. 

UCL, where I work, has the 10th highest median earnings. It is impressive how well Bath undergrads do. Maybe it's the placement year many of them take? But still interesting if that carries-over to earnings years later.

[The dataset is noisy and flawed in various ways. So don't read into this graph too definitatively]. 

Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/g...

Purchases which match our personality make us happier

Previous research has shown a link between psychological fit and well-being (Assouline & Meir, 1987; Carli et al., 1991; Jokela et al., 2015). In our research, we show that an individuals’ happiness can be increased through the consumption of products that match their psychological characteristics. The graph below shows results from a field experiment we ran. Change in participants’ positive affect as a function of their personality and the type of voucher they were assigned.