Luxury Fever
Weighing the Cost of Excess
Robert H. Frank


The turn of the twenty-first century witnessed a spectacular rise in gross consumption. With the super-rich setting the pace, everyone spent furiously in a desperate attempt to keep up. As cars and houses grew larger and more expensive, the costs were enormous--not only monetarily but also socially. Consumers spent more time at work and less time with their family and friends; they saved less money and borrowed more.

In this book, Robert Frank presents the first comprehensive and accessible account of these financial choices. Frank uses scientific evidence to demonstrate how these spending patterns have not made us happier or healthier. Luxury Fever offers an exit from the rat race, suggesting ways to curb the culture of excess and restore true value to our lives.

Robert H. Frank is the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and professor of economics at Cornell University, as well as an economics columnist for the New York Times. His books include The Winner-Take-All Society (with Philip Cook), What Price the Moral High Ground?, The Economic Naturalist, and Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke).