IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/htr/hcecon/427.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Television in Household Debt: Evidence from the 1950's

Author

Abstract

We examine whether advertising increases household debt by studying the initial expansion of television in the 1950’s. Exploiting the idiosyncratic spread of television across markets, we use microdata from the Survey of Consumer Finances to test whether households with early access to television saw steeper debt increases than households with delayed access. Results indicate that television increases the tendency to borrow for household goods and to carry debt. Television is associated with higher debt levels for durable goods, but not with total non-mortgage debt. The role of media in household debt may be greater than suggested by existing research.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Baker & Lisa M. George, 2009. "The Role of Television in Household Debt: Evidence from the 1950's," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 427, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:427
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/RePEc/papers/HunterEconWP427.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Parsons, Donald O, 1980. "The Decline in Male Labor Force Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 117-134, February.
    2. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1035-1070, October.
    3. Zeldes, Stephen P, 1989. "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 305-346.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1993. "A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 941-964.
    5. T. Paul Schultz, 2004. "Demographic Determinants of Savings: Estimating and Interpreting the Aggregate Association in Asia," Working Papers 901, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    6. Gene M. Grossman & Carl Shapiro, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81.
    7. David I. Laibson & Andrea Repetto & Jeremy Tobacman, 1998. "Self-Control and Saving for Retirement," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1), pages 91-196.
    8. Daylian M. Cain & George Loewenstein & Don A. Moore, 2005. "The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, January.
    9. Avinash Dixit & Victor Norman, 1978. "Advertising and Welfare," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
    10. Martin Browning & Thomas F. Crossley, 2001. "The Life-Cycle Model of Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, pages 3-22.
    11. repec:mes:postke:v:29:y:2006:i:2:p:179-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Jonathan A. Parker, 2002. "Consumption Over the Life Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 47-89, January.
    13. Simon P. Anderson & Régis Renault, 2006. "Advertising Content," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 93-113, March.
    14. Tiago V. de V. Cavalcanti & José Tavares, 2008. "Assessing the "Engines of Liberation": Home Appliances and Female Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 81-88, February.
    15. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1986. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 796-821, August.
    16. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Growth and Saving Among Individuals and Households," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 212-225, May.
    17. Christopher D. Carroll, 1997. "Buffer-Stock Saving and the Life Cycle/Permanent Income Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 1-55.
    18. Stuart Fraser & David Paton, 2003. "Does advertising increase labour supply? Time series evidence from the UK," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1357-1368.
    19. Hall, Robert E & Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "The Sensitivity of Consumption to Transitory Income: Estimates from Panel Data on Households," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(2), pages 461-481, March.
    20. Martin Browning & Annamaria Lusardi, 1996. "Household Saving: Micro Theories and Micro Facts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 1797-1855.
    21. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 165-181.
    22. Konishi, Hideo & Sandfort, Michael T., 2002. "Expanding demand through price advertisement," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 965-994, September.
    23. Stephen P. Dunn & Steven Pressman, 2007. "The lasting economic contributions of John Kenneth Galbraith, 1908-2006," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 179-190, January.
    24. Christopher D. Carroll & Byung-Kun Rhee & Changyong Rhee, 1994. "Are There Cultural Effects on Saving? Some Cross-Sectional Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 685-699.
    25. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Riordan, Michael H, 1984. "Advertising as a Signal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 427-450, June.
    26. Runkle, David E., 1991. "Liquidity constraints and the permanent-income hypothesis : Evidence from panel data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 73-98, February.
    27. Matthew Gentzkow & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2008. "Preschool Television Viewing and Adolescent Test Scores: Historical Evidence from the Coleman Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 279-323.
    28. Blundell, Richard & Pashardes, Panos & Weber, Guglielmo, 1993. "What Do We Learn About Consumer Demand Patterns from Micro Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 570-597, June.
    29. Joseph G. Altonji & Aloysius Siow, 1987. "Testing the Response of Consumption to Income Changes with (Noisy) Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 293-328.
    30. Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 1998. "World saving: trends and theories," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 25(2 Year 19), pages 191-215, December.
    31. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-754, July/Aug..
    32. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Television and Voter Turnout," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 931-972.
    33. Ben S. Bernanke, 1984. "Permanent Income, Liquidity, and Expenditure on Automobiles: Evidence from Panel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(3), pages 587-614.
    34. Lisa M. George, 2009. "NATIONAL TELEVISION AND THE MARKET FOR LOCAL PRODUCTS: THE CASE OF BEER -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 85-111, March.
    35. Bagwell, Kyle, 2007. "The Economic Analysis of Advertising," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Television, the root of the crisis?
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-12-04 21:15:00
    2. The BBC & household debt
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2009-10-02 18:01:15
    3. links for 2009-10-05
      by Brad DeLong in Grasping Reality with the Invisible Hand on 2009-10-05 13:04:08
    4. Uses of illiteracy
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-09-10 18:58:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leonardo Bursztyn & Davide Cantoni, 2016. "Tear in the Iron Curtain: The Impact of Western Television on Consumption Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 25-41, March.
    2. Clément Bellet, 2017. "Essays on Inequality, Social Preferences and Consumer Behavior," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/vbu6kd1s68o, Sciences Po.
    3. Ascensión Andina-Díaz, 2015. "Competition and uncertainty in a paper’s news desk," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 116(1), pages 77-93, September.
    4. Anderson, Simon P & Foros, Øystein & Kind, Hans Jarle, 2015. "Competition for advertisers and for viewers in media markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 10608, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Benedetto Molinari & Francesco Turino, 2015. "Advertising and Aggregate Consumption: A Bayesian DSGE Assessment," Working Papers 15.02, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Television; Debt; Advertising; Life Cycle;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Economic Logic blog

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:427. See general 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: (Jonathan Conning). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dhcunus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.