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Status In Markets

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  • Sheryl Ball
  • Catherine Eckel
  • Philip J. Grossman
  • William Zame

Abstract

This project tests for the effect of social status in a laboratory experimental market. We consider a special "box design" market in which a vertical overlap in supply and demand ensure that there are multiple equilibrium prices. We manipulate the relative social status of our subjects by awarding high status to a subset of the group based on one of two procedures. In the first, a subject's score on a trivia quiz determines his or her status; in another, subjects are assigned randomly to a higher-status or lower-status group. In both treatments we find that average prices are higher in markets where higher-status sellers face lowerstatus buyers, and lower when buyers have higher status than sellers. Across all sessions, the higher-status side of the market captures a greater share of the surplus, earning significantly more than their lower-status counterparts. © 2000 the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 116 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 161-188

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:116:y:2001:i:1:p:161-188

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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  1. Hoffman, Elizabeth & McCabe, Kevin & Smith, Vernon L, 1996. "Social Distance and Other-Regarding Behavior in Dictator Games," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 653-60, June.
  2. Noussair, C.N. & Plott, C. & Riezman, R., 1995. "An experimental investigation of the patterns of international trade," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-387775, Tilburg University.
  3. Ashenfelter, Orley, et al, 1992. "An Experimental Comparison of Dispute Rates in Alternative Arbitration Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(6), pages 1407-33, November.
  4. Ng, Yew-Kwang & Wang, Jianguo, 1993. "Relative income, aspiration, environmental quality, individual and political myopia : Why may the rat-race for material growth be welfare-reducing?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-23, July.
  5. Gode, Dhananjay K & Sunder, Shyam, 1993. "Allocative Efficiency of Markets with Zero-Intelligence Traders: Market as a Partial Substitute for Individual Rationality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 119-37, February.
  6. Ball, Sheryl & Eckel, Catherine C., 1998. "The economic value of status," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 495-514.
  7. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226041162, October.
  8. Robson, Arthur J, 1992. "Status, the Distribution of Wealth, Private and Social Attitudes to Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 837-57, July.
  9. Congleton, Roger D., 1989. "Efficient status seeking: Externalities, and the evolution of status games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 175-190, March.
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1063-93, Nov.-Dec..
  11. Cole, Harold L & Mailath, George J & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1992. "Social Norms, Savings Behavior, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1092-1125, December.
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