If your neighbor wins the lottery, are you more likely to go bankrupt? New research suggests — surprisingly — yes.
Why? Because if you're like other folks whose neighbors have cashed in big, you're likely to try to keep up.
The 2016 paper, "Does Inequality Cause Financial Distress? Evidence from Lottery Winners and Neighboring Bankruptcies," found that the neighbors of winners bought cars, motorcycles, even houses. Worse, the higher the lottery prize, the higher the value of flashy assets purchased by neighbors who in some cases then had to file for bankruptcy themselves.
They say comparison is the thief of joy, but it's something that plagues almost all of us at some point or another. Here's how to take back control of your feelings about your financial life.