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Watching alone: Relational Goods, Television and Happiness

  • Luigino Bruni

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

  • Luca Stanca

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Milan-Bicocca)

This paper discusses the role of relational goods and television viewing for individual happiness. Using individual data from the World Values Survey, we find evidence of a positive effect of rela- tionality on life satisfaction, and a negative effect of television viewing on relational activities. Both relationships are strongly significant and robust to the use of alternative indicators of relationality. The results are also robust to estimation by instrumental variables to deal with possible simultaneity. We interpret these findings as an indication that the pervasive and increasing role of television viewing in contem- porary society, through its crowding out effect on relational activities, contributes to the explanation of the income-happiness paradox.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper90.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 90.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision: Jun 2005
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:90
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  1. Giacomo Corneo, 2002. "Work and Television," CESifo Working Paper Series 829, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
  3. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "Economic Consequences of Mispredicting Utility," IEW - Working Papers 218, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
  5. Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Is Volunteering Rewarding in Itself?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(297), pages 39-59, 02.
  6. 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.
  7. Bruni, Luigino, 2004. "The “Technology of Happiness” and the Tradition of Economic Science," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 19-44, March.
  8. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  12. Thomas E. Borcherding & Darren Filson, . "Group Consumption, Free Riding, and Informal Reciprocity Agreements," Claremont Colleges Working Papers 2000-01, Claremont Colleges.
  13. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Discussion Papers in Economics 726, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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