Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Value Surveys
AbstractThis paper argues that television viewing produces higher material aspirations, by enhancing both adaptation and positional effects, thus lowering the effect of income on life satisfaction. Using individual data from the World Values Survey we present evidence indicating that the effect of income on both life and financial satisfaction is significantly smaller for heavy television viewers, relative to occasional viewers. This finding is robust to a number of specification checks and alternative interpretations. Overall, the results can be interpreted as providing an additional explanation for the income-happiness paradox: the pervasive and increasing role of television viewing in people’s life, by raising material aspirations, reduces the effect of income on individual happiness.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 89.
Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision: Jun 2005
subjective well-being; TV consumption; aspiration level;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
- I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Corneo, Giacomo, 2002.
"Work and Television,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Testing Theories of Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 147, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001.
"Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA,"
The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS)
616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Neumark, David & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998.
"Relative income concerns and the rise in married women's employment,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 157-183, October.
- David Neumark & Andrew Postlewaite, 1995. "Relative Income Concerns and the Rise in Married Women's Employment," NBER Working Papers 5044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2005. "Watching alone: Relational Goods, Television and Happiness," Working Papers 90, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
- Oswald, A.J., 1997.
"Happiness and Economic Performance,"
18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
- Oswald, Andrew, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 478, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Bruno S. Frey & Christine Benesch & Alois Stutzer, .
"Does watching TV make us happy?,"
IEW - Working Papers
241, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Helliwell, John F., 2003.
"How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being,"
Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 331-360, March.
- John F. Helliwell, 2002. "How's Life? Combining Individual and National Variables to Explain Subjective Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 9065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994.
"Satisfaction and comparison income,"
CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange)
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002.
"What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
- 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.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
- Ng, Yew-Kwang, 1978. "Economic Growth and Social Welfare: The Need for a Complete Study of Happiness," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 575-87.
- 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.
- Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
- Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
- Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- TV & happiness
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-12-18 14:30:34
- Happiness vs preferences
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-09-16 14:20:54
- Incomes & satisfaction
by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-07-06 12:53:41
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roberto Reale).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.