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Television Viewing, Satisfaction and Happiness: Facts and Fiction

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  • Marco Gui
  • Luca Stanca

Abstract

Despite the increasing consumption of new media, watching television remains the most important leisure activity worldwide. Research on audience reactions has demostrated that there are major contradictions between television consumption and the satisfaction obtained from this activity. Similar findings have also emerged in the relationship between TV consumption and overall well-being. This paper argues that television viewing can provide a major example where consumption choices do not maximize satisfaction. We review the evidence on the welfare effects of TV consumption choices, focusing on two complementary dimensions: consumption satisfaction and overall well-being Within each of these two dimensions, we consider both absolute and relative over-consumption, referring to quantity and content of television viewing, respectively. We find that research in different social sciences provides evidence of overconsumption in television viewing. The relevance of these findings for consumption of new media is discussed in the conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:167
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kohlin, Gunnar & Sills, Erin O. & Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. & Wilfong, Christopher, 2011. "Energy, gender and development: what are the linkages ? where is the evidence ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5800, The World Bank.
    2. Juncal Cuñado & Fernando P�rez de Gracia, 2012. "Does Media Consumption Make Us Happy? Evidence for Spain," Journal of Media Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 8-34, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    satisfaction; rationality; media consumption; television;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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