This theory suggests that people realize happiness by having more money relative to others in their reference groups. On the contrary, the theory of absolute utility advocates that increased income allows a more real purchasing power to fulfill needs which brings joy. However, some economists propose that the cheerfulness that money brings is temporary as with time individuals fast adapt to this increased income. For instance the new car, bigger house etc bought by increased income soon becomes old and no longer gives the feeling of happiness. A number of quantitative and qualitative studies have been done by economists to prove these theories and find a relation between happiness and money. There have been mixed results. While some have found proofs for these theories, others have found small effects of income on happiness and some have simply not found any correlation between happiness and material wealth. (Hagerty & Veenhoven, 2003)
Although there is an overwhelming literature to support the opinion that money buys temporary happiness, the connection between money and happiness is a complex one. For some this value can be achieved by individual efforts like completing an educational degree, spending leisure time with friends and family, promotion, sexual satisfaction and good health while for others it can be realized with money like increased public expenditure, investment in some social security, buying a new car and the like.