Free DP Download 21 February 2019: Advertising as a Major Source of Human Dissatisfaction

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Advertising as a Major Source of Human Dissatisfaction: Cross-National Evidence on One Million Europeans
Chloe Michel, Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto and Michelle Sovinsky 
CEPR DP No. 13532 | 15 February 2019

Increases in national advertising expenditure are followed by significant declines in reported levels of life satisfaction, according to a new CEPR study. Blending longitudinal data on advertising with large-scale surveys of citizens’ wellbeing, the research analyses information on approximately one million randomly sampled European citizens across 27 nations over three decades. 

Advertising is ubiquitous in modern life. Yet might it be harmful to the happiness of nations? The empirical results of this analysis are some of the first to be consistent with the hypothesis that, perhaps by fostering unending desires, high levels of advertising may depress social wellbeing. 

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