In this Book

summary

Whether watching baseball or undergoing heart surgery, Americans have bought a variety of goods and services to achieve happiness. Here is a provocative look at what they have chosen to purchase. Stanley Lebergott maintains that the average consumer has behaved more reasonably than many distinguished critics of "materialism" have suggested. He sees consumers seeking to make an uncertain and often cruel world into a pleasanter and more convenient place--and, for the most part, succeeding. With refreshing common sense, he reminds us of what many "luxuries" have meant, especially for women: increased income since 1900 has been used largely to lighten the backbreaking labor once required by household chores.

Originally published in 1996.

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Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Quotes
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Tables and Figure
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Part I: Economic Well-Being
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. Consumers and Their Critics
  2. pp. 3-11
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  1. 2. Happiness and Economic Welfare
  2. pp. 12-15
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  1. 3. Consumer Choice: Advertising
  2. pp. 16-20
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  1. 4. Consumer Choice: Externalities, Varieties
  2. pp. 21-27
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  1. 5. Consumption Inequality
  2. pp. 28-33
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  1. 6. Immortality and the Budget Constraint
  2. pp. 34-40
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  1. 7. Per Capita Consumption and the Angel of the Lord
  2. pp. 41-49
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  1. 8. Women's Work: Home to Market
  2. pp. 50-60
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  1. 9. Work, Overwork, and Consumer Spending
  2. pp. 61-68
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  1. 10. More Goods: The Twentieth Century
  2. pp. 69-72
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  1. Part II: Major Trends, 1900-1990
  2. pp. 73-146
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  1. Appendix A: Personal Consumption Table
  2. pp. 147-164
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  1. Appendix B: Estimating Details
  2. pp. 165-170
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 171-186
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 187-188
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400863266
MARC Record
OCLC
889251389
Pages
206
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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