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The causal effect of watching TV on material aspirations: Evidence from the “valley of the innocent”

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  • Hyll, Walter
  • Schneider, Lutz

Abstract

The paper addresses the question of whether TV consumption has an impact on material aspirations. We exploit a natural experiment that took place during the period in which Germany was divided. Owing to geographical reasons TV programs from the Federal Republic of Germany could not be received in all parts of the German Democratic Republic. Therefore a natural variation occurred in exposure to West German television. We find robust evidence that watching TV is positively correlated with aspirations. Our identification strategy implies a causal relationship running from TV to aspirations. This conclusion resists various sets of alternative specifications and samples.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyll, Walter & Schneider, Lutz, 2013. "The causal effect of watching TV on material aspirations: Evidence from the “valley of the innocent”," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 37-51.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:86:y:2013:i:c:p:37-51
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2012.12.030
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," MPRA Paper 65874, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. McDool, Emily & Powell, Philip & Roberts, Jennifer & Taylor, Karl, 2016. "Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing," IZA Discussion Papers 10412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Tim Friehe & Helge Mueller & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "Media content's role in the making of a democrat: Evidence from East Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201711, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    4. Viktor Slavtchev & Michael Wyrwich, 2017. "TV and Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    5. Hyll, Walter & Schneider, Lutz, 2016. "Social Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners. Evidence from the ‘Fall of the Iron Curtain’," IWH Discussion Papers 12/2016, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    6. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:1:p:308-325 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Tim Friehe & Helge Mueller & Florian Neumeier, 2017. "The effect of Western TV on crime: Evidence from East Germany," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201710, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    8. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg & Michael Wedow, 2015. "Let Bygones be Bygones? Socialist Regimes and Personalities in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 5440, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Steffen Lohmann, 2015. "Information technologies and subjective well-being: does the Internet raise material aspirations?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 740-759.
    10. Hyll, Walter & Schneider, Lutz, 2017. "Income Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168069, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Pannenberg, Markus & Friehe, Tim & Wedow, Michael, 2015. "Let Bygones be Bygones? Political Regimes and Personalities in Germany," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112841, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Peter Bönisch & Walter Hyll, 2015. "Television Role Models and Fertility: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 752, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    13. Görges, Luise & Beblo, Miriam, 2015. "Breaking down the wall between nature and nurture: An exploration of gendered work preferences in East and West Germany," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112825, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Schneider, Lutz & Hyll, Walter, 2016. "Social Comparisons and Attitudes towards Foreigners - Evidence from the ‘Fall of the Iron Curtain’," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145605, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural experiment; TV consumption; Material aspirations;

    JEL classification:

    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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