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TV Channels, Self Control and Happiness

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Author Info

  • Christine Benesch
  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Alois Stutzer

Abstract

In many countries, TV viewers have access to more and more TV channels. We study whether people can cope with this 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 when exposed to more TV channels. This finding runs counter to the standard economic prediction that a larger choice set does not make people worse off. It suggests that an identifiable group of persons experience a self-control problem when it comes to TV viewing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 301.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:301

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Related research

Keywords: Self-control; over-consumption; life satisfaction; experienced utility; TV viewing;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Prat, Andrea & Strömberg, David, 2005. "Commercial Television and Voter Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 4989, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Jeremy Tobacman & Paige Skiba, 2005. "Payday Loans, Consumption Shocks, and Discounting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 189, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Testing Theories of Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 147, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972, 08.
  10. 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.
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Citations

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. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00566139 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Stutzer, Alois, 2007. "Limited Self-Control, Obesity and the Loss of Happiness," IZA Discussion Papers 2925, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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.
  4. Stephan Meier & Charles Sprenger, 2007. "Impatience and credit behavior: evidence from a field experiment," Working Papers 07-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  5. Shmuel Nitzan & Kobi Kriesler, 2010. "The Effect of Limited Search Ability on the Quality of Competitive Rent-Seeking Clubs," Working Papers 2010-06, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  6. Odermatt, Reto & Stutzer, Alois, 2013. "Smoking Bans, Cigarette Prices and Life Satisfaction," IZA Discussion Papers 7177, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2012. "Happier and less isolated: internet use in old age," MPRA Paper 42546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. 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.
  10. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando Gracia, 2012. "Does Education Affect Happiness? Evidence for Spain," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 185-196, August.
  11. Maurizio Pugno, 2011. "Scitovsky and the income-happiness paradox," Working Papers 2011-07, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche.

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