In a rather unusual study, the University of British Columbia investigated whether the faculty at their institution who flew the most were also the most successful.
They found that beyond a small threshold there was no relationship between scholarly output and how much an individual academic flies. But they also checked for relationships between how much academics flew and their annual salaries (which are publicly available).
They discovered a significant relationship: people who fly more, get paid more. Can we, therefore, conclude that flying makes you rich?
The University cautions on Marginal Revolution, that those prestigious scholars with more grant money may have extra funds with which to book air travel, hence the one reason for the relationship.
But it is fair to conclude that those who fly a great deal, are either already wealthy or work for a company that perceives that it is profitable to ship this individual around the world, rather than keep them in the office. So it would make sense that frequent fliers are more successful and more wealthy overall than those who rarely fly. But which came first? In this chicken and egg scenario, does flying actually increase your wealth, or is it just those with wealth already, that fly more?
With cheap flights and amazing travel bargains online, whatever your monetary wealth, flying and travel will make you rich in life experiences. Sometimes this is more important than what’s in your wallet.
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