Which college freshmen end up making more money 20 years later?


The happier ones:

Via The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work:

…how happy individuals were as college freshmen predicted how high their income was nineteen years later, regardless of their initial level of wealth.

He’s citing this study:

This longitudinal study examines the influence of dispositional affect, defined as self-rated cheerfulness at college entry, on 3 job outcomes (current income, job satisfaction, and unemployment history) assessed about 19 yrs later. Analysis using data from the 1976 “College and Beyond” survey of 13,676 freshmen shows that individuals with a higher cheerfulness rating at college entry have a higher current income and a higher job satisfaction rating and are less likely ever to have been unemployed than individuals with a lower cheerfulness rating. Although cheerfulness generally has a positive effect on current income, this effect is curvilinear, with current income increasing more rapidly at lower than at higher cheerfulness ratings; the effect is also moderated by parental income, with the increase in current income between any two cheerfulness ratings becoming greater as the level of parental income increases. The effect of cheerfulness on current income is not moderated by sex; the effect of cheerfulness on job satisfaction and on unemployment history is not moderated by either sex or parental income.

Source: “Dispositional affect and job outcomes” from Social Indicators Research

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