This study measures the welfare effects of technological goods using a recent European pooled cross-sectional dataset. We find that fixed and mobile phones, music players and personal computers, including those with an Internet connection, are associated with significantly higher levels of well-being measured by individual self-reported life satisfaction. Further controlling for mobile and broadband country penetration levels, we provide evidence suggesting that the latter matters for life satisfaction, especially for the users who already possess the relevant devices. Keeping life satisfaction constant, we subsequently derive substantial GDP per capita estimates equivalent to a 10 percentage point increase in broadband and mobile phone penetration.
Source: “Technological Affluence and Subjective Well-Being” from Journal of Economic Psychology