Luxury Fever: Money and Happiness in an Era of Excess

Luxury Fever: Money and Happiness in an Era of Excess

by Robert H. Frank
Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
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Luxury Fever: Money and Happiness in an Era of Excess

The turn of the twenty-first century witnessed a spectacular rise in gross consumption. With the super-rich setting the pace, everyone spent furiously in a desperate attempt to keep up. As cars and houses grew larger and more expensive, the costs were enormous—not only monetarily but also socially. Consumers spent more time at work and less time with their family and friends; they saved less money and borrowed more.

In this book, Robert Frank presents the first comprehensive and accessible account of these financial choices. Frank uses scientific evidence to demonstrate how these spending patterns have not made us happier or healthier. Luxury Fever offers an exit from the rat race, suggesting ways to curb the culture of excess and restore true value to our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691146935
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 04/04/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1. Money Well Spent? 1

2. The Luxury Spending Boom 14

3. Why Now? 3

4. The Price of Luxury 45

5. Does Money Buy Happiness? 6

6. Gains That Endure 7

7. Our Forgotten Future 94

8. Excellent, Relatively Speaking 107

9. Why Context and Position Are So Important 122

10. Smart for One, Dumb for All 146

11. Understanding Conspicuous Consumption 15

12. Self Help? 17

13. Other Failed Remedies 19

14. Luxury Without Apology 20

15. Equity Versus Efficiency: The Great Trade-Off? 227

16. We Can't Afford It? 25

17. Cash on the Table 266

Endnotes 281

References 295

Index 317

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