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The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis

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

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Centre for Econometric Research in its series NCER Working Paper Series with number 11.

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Date of creation: 27 Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qut:auncer:2007-5

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Keywords: Relative income; positional concerns; envy; performance; social integration;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Justina Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Social Capital and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries," TWI Research Paper Series 38, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  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. Markus Schaffner & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Meet the Joneses: An Empirical Investigation of Reference Groups in Relative Income Position Comparisons," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 234, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, revised 17 Jun 2008.

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