Study Finds That Television May Have Pushed Americans Deeper Into Debt

It’s easy see how TV, jampacked with ads and broadcast to the average American for now four hours a day, would stimulate consumer activity.

A new study tests this theory by looking at debt levels in parts of America that had early access to TV back in the 40’s (via @alea_). Hunter College’s Matthew J. Baker and Lisa M. George found that these areas were more likely to incur debt for durable goods:

Households in markets with access to television are 3.2 percentage points more likely to have borrowed to purchase durable goods… Individuals with television access have $9.70 more debt for durable goods than households without television access. With average durable goods debt approximately $50, the effect of television is substantial.

Nationwide the rise of TV would coincide with the rise of debt. Here’s a provocative chart:

chart

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.