Anyone with a modicum or more of psychology background want to weigh in?
At first, I wondered what would happen if the “high earners” were allowed to trade in their chocolate bits for higher end chocolate, but apparently (from the paper) this is known as the medium maximization effect and was deliberately excluded from the study.
An interesting discussion point from the paper:
“Like overeating, overearning is a modern-era issue stemming from advancements in productivity, and it carries potential costs for humans. But unlike overeating, overearning has attracted little attention, for multiple reasons. For one, productivity and earning rates have not reached the point where most people are overearning; many people still live in poverty. In addition, working seems enjoyable. Moreover, overearning seems innocuous: “It never hurts to earn more.”
“However, these reasons are disputable. First, although overearning is not yet prevalent, it may become so in the near future. Again consider overeating: A century ago, overeating was an issue among only the affluent; now it is a global concern (Flegal, Carroll, Ogden, & Curtin, 2010). As technologies keep advancing and earning rates keep rising, overearning may also become widespread. Second, although working is a joy for some, it is a toil for many others. Finally, overearning is not costless. Overearners forgo the pleasure of leisure and endure the pain of extra work. Overearners may also lower the well-being of people around them by imposing more pressure on peers (“Joe worked last weekend and earned a lot, so I should work this weekend, too”) and giving less time to loved ones (“My parents are so busy they rarely play with me”). Overearning is also wasteful: Because earning usually requires resources, overearning consumes resources that could otherwise be conserved.”