Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards
AbstractA growing economic literature stresses the importance of relative comparisons, e.g., for savings and consumption or happiness. In this literature it is usually assumed that reference standards against which people compare themselves are exogenously given. In contrast, findings from social psychology suggest that people play an active role in determining their reference standards. We introduce a social comparison model where people choose their reference standards to serve motives of self-improvement and self-enhancement. The model predicts that reference standards increase in individuals' abilities and that people thus tend to compare themselves to similar others. The results of a questionnaire study confirm the prediction of the model. Copyright The editors of the "Scandinavian Journal of Economics", 2004 .
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The Scandinavian Journal of Economics.
Volume (Year): 106 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
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Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-9442
Other versions of this item:
- Falk, Armin & Knell, Markus, 2004. "Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards," CEPR Discussion Papers 4459, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Falk, Armin & Knell, Markus, 2004. "Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards," IZA Discussion Papers 1152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
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