The Local Ladder Effect: Social Status and Subjective Well-Being
AbstractDozens of studies in different nations reveal that socioeconomic status only weakly predicts an individualâ€™s subjective well-being (SWB). These effects suggest that although the pursuit of social status is a fundamental human motivation, achieving high status has little impact on oneâ€™s SWB. However, we propose that sociometric status â€“ the respect and admiration one has in face-to-face groups (e.g., oneâ€™s friendship group or workplace) â€“ has a stronger effect on SWB than does socioeconomic status. Using correlational, experimental, and longitudinal methodologies, four studies found consistent evidence for a â€œLocal Ladder Effectâ€: sociometric status significantly predicted satisfaction with life and the experience of positive and negative emotions. Longitudinally, as sociometric status rises or falls, SWB rises or falls accordingly. Furthermore, these effects were driven by feelings of power and social acceptance. Overall, individualsâ€™ sociometric status â€“ their respect and admiration in local, face-to-face groups â€“matters more than their socioeconomic status for SWB.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt2x39c3kp.
Date of creation: 05 Oct 2011
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-03-28 (All new papers)
- NEP-HAP-2012-03-28 (Economics of Happiness)
- NEP-SOC-2012-03-28 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.