Happiness…comes more from leisure consumption than durable goods

Happiness…comes more from leisure consumption than durable goods

By GAIL LIBERMAN for the Palm Beach Daily News

If you_ã_re starting to think about what to buy a loved one for the holidays, it could pay to forego the luxury car and substitute two tickets to the Kravis Center.

At least, that_ã_s what research by two professors, published in the International Review of Economics, seems to indicate.

Only one component _ã” leisure consumption _ã” is positively related to happiness, say the authors, Thomas DeLeire of University of Wisconsin and Ariel Kalil of University of Chicago.

Leisure includes trips and vacations, tickets to movies, sports events and performing arts, gym memberships and exercise equipment, hobbies and leisure equipment.

_ã–Accumulating a lot of durable goods _ã” cars and so forth _ã” is not likely to lead to happiness,_㝠said Kalil, professor of public policy at the University of Chicago. The study, Does consumption buy happiness? Evidence from the United States, analyzed the Health and Retirement Study, collected by University of Michigan. It is composed of some 20,000 persons more than 50 years old.

_ã–There are lots of studies that show correlations between income and happiness,_㝠Kalil said. _ã–But what hasn_ã_t been well-studied is how people spend money they have. Our studies don_ã_t suggest you have to spend a lot of money to improve your happiness. They just say you have to be thoughtful about spending what you have to spend…

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