Yay computers, Boo television

It’s official! Television makes you sad but computers, phones and music players make you happy. This is something I always knew but good to get the official take from the profession:

Technological Affluence and Subjective Well-Being

Georgios Kavetsos
Cass Business School

Pantelis Koutroumpis
Imperial College London – Tanaka Business School; European Union – European Investment Bank

This study measures the welfare effects of technological goods using a pooled cross-sectional dataset for European countries. Using self-reported life satisfaction as a measure of subjective well-being we find that a fixed phone, a mobile phone, a compact disk player, a computer and an Internet connection are all associated with higher levels of well-being, whereas television sets are associated with lower levels. We further provide evidence suggesting that the level of mobile and broadband penetration matters for life satisfaction as well. Our estimates indicate that, at a minimum, an individual requires a 10% increase in GDP per capita as compensation to seize [cease? - TH] holding these products. Further implications suggest that increasing mobile penetration by 10% has limited effects on implied GDP per capita, contrary to a similar increase in broadband penetration.

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it. I’ve never owned a television and I’m happy as Larry, me.

Tim Harford’s blog

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Tim, also known as the Undercover Economist, writes about the economics of everyday life.