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Does Watching TV Make Us Happy?

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Author Info

  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Christine Benesch
  • Alois Stutzer

Abstract

The paper studies a major human activity ? that of watching TV - where many individuals have incomplete control over, and foresight into, their own behavior. As a consequence, they watch more TV than they consider optimal for themselves and their well-being is lower than what could be achieved. Mainly people with significant opportunity costs of time regret the amount of time spent watching TV. They report lower subjective well-being when watching TV for many hours. For others, there is no negative effect on life satisfaction from watching TV. Long hours spent in front of a TV are linked to higher material aspirations and anxiety and therewith lower life satisfaction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2005-15.

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Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2005-15

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Related research

Keywords: Life satisfaction; mispredicting utility; revealed behavior; self-control problem; TV consumption;

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References

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  7. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-01 is not listed on IDEAS
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  10. O'Guinn, Thomas C & Shrum, L J, 1997. " The Role of Television in the Construction of Consumer Reality," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 278-94, March.
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  17. Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2005. "Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Value Surveys," Working Papers 89, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  18. Shapiro, Jesse M., 2005. "Is there a daily discount rate? Evidence from the food stamp nutrition cycle," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 303-325, February.
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  24. Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?," NBER Working Papers 8872, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Jeremy Kyle & revealed preference
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-02-23 12:55:14
  2. TV & happiness
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-12-18 14:30:34
  3. Consumption deskilling & utility
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-03-01 14:36:46
  4. Diversifying mental states
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2013-02-02 13:39:27
  5. Incomes & satisfaction
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-07-06 12:53:41
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