Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Meet the Joneses: An Empirical Investigation of Reference Groups in Relative Income Position Comparisons

Contents:

Author Info

  • Markus Schaffner
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

It is generally understood that people care about their absolute income position, and several studies have in fact moved beyond this, showing that people also place considerable significance on their relative income position. However, empirical evidence about the behavioural consequences is scarce. We address this shortcoming by exploring the relative income effect in a (controlled) sporting contest environment. Specifically, we look at the pay-performance relationship by working with a large panel data set consisting of 26 NBA seasons. We explore how closeness affects positional concerns exploring in detail several potential reference groups. This allows checking of their relevance and of the scope of comparisons, a critical aspect in the literature that requires further investigation.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://external-apps.qut.edu.au/business/documents/discussionPapers/2008/234Torgler.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology in its series School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series with number 234.

as in new window
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 17 Jun 2008
Date of revision: 17 Jun 2008
Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:234

Note: This paper was presented at the 2nd End-Of-Year Conference of Swiss Economists Abroad,December 21, 2007 at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland and at the X-institutional PhD Workshop, November 26, 2007 at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia The School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia CREMA - Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts, Gellertstrasse 18, CH-4052 Basel, Switzerland CESifo, Poschingerstrasse 5, D-81679 Munich, Germany 1(Newsweek, 2/17/92, Vol. 119, Issue 7).
Contact details of provider:
Postal: GPO Box 2434, BRISBANE QLD 4001
Email:
Web page: http://www.bus.qut.edu.au/faculty/economics/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Orszag, Jonathan M., 1994. "A new look at incentive effects and golf tournaments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 77-88, September.
  2. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2001. "How Much Do We Care About Absolute Versus Relative Income and Consumption?," Working Papers in Economics 63, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  3. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1990. "The incentive effects of tournaments revisited: Evidence from the European PGA tour," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 74-88, February.
  4. Justina Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2008. "Social Capital and Relative Income Concerns: Evidence from 26 Countries," TWI Research Paper Series 38, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universit├Ąt Konstanz.
  5. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  6. Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "The Power of Positional Concerns: A Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-19, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  7. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., . "A theory of fairness, competition, and cooperation," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  8. Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," Working Paper Series rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  9. Yew-Kwang, Ng, 1997. "A case for Happiness, Cardinalism, and Interpersonal Comparability," Departmental Working Papers _081, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Economics.
  10. Kirchsteiger, Georg, 1994. "The role of envy in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 373-389, December.
  11. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  12. Sunde, Uwe, 2003. "Potential, Prizes and Performance: Testing Tournament Theory with Professional Tennis Data," IZA Discussion Papers 947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  14. Claudia Senik, 2007. "Ambition and jealousy. Income interactions in the "Old" Europe versus the "New" Europe and the United States," PSE Working Papers halshs-00590828, HAL.
  15. Boskin, Michael J & Sheshinski, Eytan, 1978. "Optimal Redistributive Taxation when Individual Welfare Depends upon Relative Income," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 589-601, November.
  16. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
  17. Neumark, David & Postlewaite, Andrew, 1998. "Relative income concerns and the rise in married women's employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 157-183, October.
  18. 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..
  19. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
  20. Pollak, Robert A, 1976. "Interdependent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 309-20, June.
  21. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  22. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Michael L. Bognanno, 1988. "Do Tournaments Have Incentive Effects?," NBER Working Papers 2638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
  24. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
  25. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  26. Michael T. Maloney & Robert E. McCormick, 2000. "The Response of Workers to Wages in Tournaments," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 1(2), pages 99-123, May.
  27. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  28. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Verena Jung & Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler, 2012. "What Shapes Young Elite Athletes' Perception of Chances in an Environment of Great Uncertainty?," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 292, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:234. See general 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: (Angela Fletcher).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.