Date: 29 Apr 2014

Is Having a Taste of Luxury a Good Idea? How Use vs. Ownership of Luxury Products Affects Satisfaction with Life

Abstract

Previous research showing that luxury consumption can be beneficial for one’s well-being equate consumption with ownership. The current paper experimentally investigates whether the impact of luxury consumption on one’s satisfaction with life differs when this consumption implies ownership versus mere use of (democratized) luxury products. While we find that ownership of luxury products is associated with a higher satisfaction with life compared to ownership of non-luxury products, the mere use of luxuries decreases an individual’s satisfaction with life. This finding is obtained for both a durable (a pen) and a non-durable (a chocolate).