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Watching alone: Relational Goods, Television and Happiness

Luigino Bruni () and Luca Stanca ()

No 90, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: subjective well-being; TV consumption; relationality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 D12 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-06, Revised 2005-06
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