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TV Channels, Self-Control and Happiness

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  • Benesch Christine

    ()
    (Harvard Kennedy School and CREMA)

  • Frey Bruno S.

    ()
    (University of Zurich and CREMA)

  • Stutzer Alois

    ()
    (University of Basel and CREMA)

Abstract

Standard economic theory suggests that more choice is usually better. We address this claim and investigate whether people can cope with the increasing number of television programs and watch the amount of TV they find optimal for themselves or whether they are prone to over-consumption. We find that heavy TV viewers do not benefit but instead report lower life satisfaction with access to more TV channels. This finding suggests that an identifiable group of individuals experiences a self-control problem when it comes to TV viewing.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 10 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-35

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:10:y:2010:i:1:n:86

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  1. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Testing Theories of Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 147, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  2. Jeremy Tobacman & Paige Skiba, 2005. "Payday Loans, Consumption Shocks, and Discounting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 189, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2006. "Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Values Survey," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(2), pages 209-225, 05.
  5. Andrea Prat & David Strömberg, 2006. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000363, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2006. "Does Television Rot Your Brain? New Evidence from the Coleman Study," NBER Working Papers 12021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Stefano DellaVigna & Ulrike Malmendier, 2006. "Paying Not to Go to the Gym," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 694-719, June.
  8. Bruni, Luigino & Stanca, Luca, 2008. "Watching alone: Relational goods, television and happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(3-4), pages 506-528, March.
  9. Kahneman, Daniel & Wakker, Peter P & Sarin, Rakesh, 1997. "Back to Bentham? Explorations of Experienced Utility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 375-405, May.
  10. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Affective Forecasting and Optimal Environmental Behaviour
    by Liam Delaney in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-12-30 15:11:00
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Cited by:
  1. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2007. "Impatience and credit behavior: evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers 07-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. Alois Stutzer, 2007. "Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness," Working papers 2007/07, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  3. Shmuel Nitzan & Kobi Kriesler, 2010. "The effect of limited search ability on the quality of competitive rent-seeking clubs," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 81-106, June.
  4. Maurizio Pugno, 2011. "Scitovsky and the income-happiness paradox," Working Papers 2011-07, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.
  5. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando Gracia, 2012. "Does Education Affect Happiness? Evidence for Spain," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 185-196, August.
  6. Reto Odermatt & Alois Stutzer, 2013. "Smoking Bans, Cigarette Prices and Life Satisfaction," Working papers 2013/07, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Recent Advances in the Economics of Individual Subjective Well-Being," Working papers 2010/04, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  8. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566139 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2012. "Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age," MPRA Paper 42546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Graham, Carol & Nikolova, Milena, 2013. "Does access to information technology make people happier? Insights from well-being surveys from around the world," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 126-139.
  11. Marco Gui & Luca Stanca, 2009. "Television Viewing, Satisfaction and Happiness: Facts and Fiction," Working Papers 167, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2009.

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