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The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis

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  • Torgler, Benno
  • Schmidt, Sascha L
  • Frey, Bruno S.

Abstract

Many studies have established that people care a great deal about their relative economic position and not solely, as standard economic theory assumes, about their absolute economic position. However, behavioral evidence is rare. This paper provides an empirical analysis on how individuals’ relative income position affects their performance. Using a unique data set for 1040 soccer players over a period of eight seasons, our analysis suggests that if a player’s salary is below the average and this difference increases, his performance worsens and the productivity decreasing effects of positional concerns are stronger. Moreover, the larger the income differences within a team, the stronger positional concern effects are observable. We also find that the more the players are integrated in a particular social environment (their team), the more evident a relative income effect is. Finally, we find that positional effects are stronger among high performing teams.

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Paper provided by Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics in its series Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series with number qt1z14v7zt.

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Date of creation: 04 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:oplwec:qt1z14v7zt

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Gächter & David A. Savage & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Retaining the thin blue line: What shapes workers' intentions not to quit the current work environment," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 40(5), pages 479-503, May.
  2. Justina AV Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2007. "Social Capital And Relative Income Concerns: Evidence From 26 Countries," NCER Working Paper Series 19, National Centre for Econometric Research.
  3. Markus Schaffner & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Meet the Joneses: An Empirical Investigation of Reference Groups in Relative Income Position Comparisons," CREMA Working Paper Series 2008-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  4. Lampi, Elina & Nordblom, Katarina, 2008. "Money and Success –Sibling and Birth-Order Effects on Positional Concerns," Working Papers in Economics 299, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  5. David Stadelmann & Reiner Eichenberger, 2008. "Wer ist der beste Formel 1 Fahrer? Eine ökonometrische Talentbewertung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(4), pages 486-512, November.
  6. Justina A V Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2011. "Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence from 26 Countries," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 265, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

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