This seems yet more evidence to suggest that peer effects matter.
But it raises a puzzle. There’s abundant evidence that other people’s income makes us unhappy. So why does others’ happiness make us happy? What’s the difference between income and happiness?
Yes other people’s high incomes might make us more aware of our relative poverty, though a contrast effect. Or others‘ incomes, in showing us what might have been, increase our sense of having lost opportunities. But exactly the same is true for happiness, as Hank sang:
As they go strollin' by
Oh all the things that might have been
God forgive me if I cry