TV Channels, Self Control and Happiness

Institute for Empirical Research in Economics Working Paper No. 301

22 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2006

See all articles by Christine Benesch

Christine Benesch

University of St. Gallen; CREMA

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: July 2006

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.

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

JEL Classification: D12, D91, I31, J22

Suggested Citation

Benesch, Christine and Frey, Bruno S. and Stutzer, Alois, TV Channels, Self Control and Happiness (July 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=927226 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.927226

Christine Benesch (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen ( email )

St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.siaw.unisg.ch/

CREMA ( email )

Gellertstrasse 18
Basel
Zurich, CH 8006
Switzerland

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Alois Stutzer

University of Basel - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
4002 Basel
Switzerland
0041 61 267 3361 (Phone)
0041 61 267 3340 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.wwz.unibas.ch/stutzer/

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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