By Bryan Caplan
From the WSJ, via Mankiw:
“Money itself doesn’t make you happy,” [Harvard psychology professor Daniel] Gilbert says. “What can make you happy is what you do with it. There’s a lot of data that suggests experiences are better than durable goods.”
I’m baffled. Don’t many durables provide a flow of experiences? A nice T.V. is the obvious example; a fine stereo system’s another. My CD collection is my pride and joy – whenever I worry about being robbed over vacation, my first thought is the sorrow of seeing my CD shelves empty.
I don’t share Arnold’s methodological aversion to happiness research, but this sounds like a very hasty generalization.