|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
A consumer is more than a mere shopping cart. One's welfare depends on much else besides what and how much one buys. That obvious truth is all too often forgotten, and economists are remiss in letting us forget it. The Joyless Economy sets out to correct that situation by looking at the whole person and probing all our needs: for comfort, stimulation, and pleasure, which we seek in food, clothes, work, drugs, sex, violence, music, the Sunday drive, and much else. Scitovsky compares what psychologists have learned about human motivation through experiment with the models economists have constructed on the basis of consumers' buying patterns. He finds that the economists have more to learn and to revise. To right the balance, he has outlined a more adequate theory of human satisfaction, which he documents with statistics, ranging from the number of vacations we take to the amount of garbage we throw away.