IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Do Positional Concerns Destroy Social Capital: Evidence From 26 Countries

  • JUSTINA A.V. FISCHER
  • BENNO TORGLER

Research on the effects of positional concerns on individuals’ attitudes and behavior is sorely lacking. To address this deficiency, we use the International Social Survey Programme 1998 data on 25’000 individuals from 26 countries to investigate the impact of relative income position on three facets of social capital, covering horizontal and vertical trust as well as norm compliance. Testing relative deprivation theory, we identify a deleterious positional income effect for persons below the reference income, particularly for their social trust and confidence in secular institutions. Also often a social capital-lowering effect of relative income advantage occurs, while a rise in absolute income almost always contributes positively. These results indicate that a rise in income inequality in society too large is rather detrimental to the formation of social capital.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2011.00441.x
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 51 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 1542-1565

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:51:y:2013:i:2:p:1542-1565
Contact details of provider: Postal: 18830 Brookhurst Street, Suite 304, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 USA
Phone: 714-965-8800
Fax: 714-965-8829
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0095-2583
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/subs.asp?ref=0095-2583

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. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Varian, Hal R., 1974. "Equity, envy, and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 63-91, September.
  3. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2006. "Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact Of Relative Income Position On Social Capital," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 46, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  4. 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).
  5. Archibald, G. C. & Donaldson, David, 1979. "Notes on economic equality," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 205-214, October.
  6. Jordahl, Henrik, 2007. "Inequality and Trust," Working Paper Series 715, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  7. Yamamura, Eiji, 2009. "Dynamics of social trust and human capital in the learning process: The case of the Japan garment cluster in the period 1968-2005," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 377-389, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Fischer, Justina A.V. & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2007. "Does Job Satisfaction Improve the Health of Workers? New Evidence Using Panel Data and Objective Measures of Health," IZA Discussion Papers 3256, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Gary M. Anderson and Robert U. Tollison, 1992. "Morality and Monopoly: The Constitutional Political Economy of Religious Rules," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 12(2), pages 373-392, Fall.
  11. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer & Jan Schnellenbach, 2010. "Inequality and Happiness: When Perceived Social Mobility and Economic Reality do not Match," CESifo Working Paper Series 3216, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Justina A.V. Fischer & Benno Torgler, 2006. "The Effect of Relative Income Position on Social Capital," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 26(4), pages 1-20.
  13. Bjørnskov, Christian & Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina A.V., 2010. "Formal institutions and subjective well-being: Revisiting the cross-country evidence," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 419-430, December.
  14. Torgler, Benno, 2005. "Tax morale and direct democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 525-531, June.
  15. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
  16. Mui, V.L., 1992. "The Economics of Envy," Papers 9306, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  17. Edward L. Glaeser & David I. Laibson & José A. Scheinkman & Christine L. Soutter, 2000. "Measuring Trust," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 811-846, August.
    • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Laibson, David I. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Soutter, Christine L., 2000. "Measuring Trust," Scholarly Articles 4481497, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
  19. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:26:y:2006:i:4:p:1-20 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Pollak, Robert A, 1976. "Interdependent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(3), pages 309-20, June.
  21. Benno Torgler, 2003. "The Importance of Faith: Tax Morale and Religiosity," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-08, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  22. Martin Halla & Friedrich G. Schneider, 2005. "Taxes and Benefits: Two Distinct Options to Cheat on the State?," Economics working papers 2005-05, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  23. Frey, Bruno S. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Tax morale and conditional cooperation," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 136-159, March.
  24. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2008. "Direct democracy and life satisfaction revisited: new evidence for Switzerland," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 227-255, June.
  25. Christian Bjørnskov & Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2006. "Cross-Country Determinants of Life Satisfaction:Exploring Different Determinants across Groups inSociety," STICERD - Political Economy and Public Policy Paper Series 21, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  26. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  27. Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "Is competition good for trust? Cross-country evidence using micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 56-59, July.
  28. Kirchsteiger, Georg, 1994. "The role of envy in ultimatum games," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 373-389, December.
  29. Knack, Stephen, 2000. "Social capital and the quality of Government : evidence from the U.S. States," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2504, The World Bank.
  30. Hollander, Heinz, 2001. "On the validity of utility statements: standard theory versus Duesenberry's," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 227-249, July.
  31. Schaltegger, Christoph A. & Torgler, Benno, 2007. "Government accountability and fiscal discipline: A panel analysis using Swiss data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 117-140, February.
  32. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 0042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Fischer, Justina AV, 2008. "Competition and well-being: does market competition make people unhappy?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 697, Stockholm School of Economics.
  36. Christian Bjørnskov, 2007. "Determinants of generalized trust: A cross-country comparison," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 1-21, January.
  37. 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.
  38. David Dorn & Justina Fischer & Gebhard Kirchgässner & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2007. "Is It Culture or Democracy? The Impact of Democracy and Culture on Happiness," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 82(3), pages 505-526, July.
  39. Veblen, Thorstein, 1899. "The Theory of the Leisure Class," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number veblen1899.
  40. Hirschman, Albert O., 1973. "The changing tolerance for income inequality in the course of economic development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 1(12), pages 29-36, December.
  41. 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.
  42. Smith, Adam, 1759. "The Theory of Moral Sentiments," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number smith1759.
  43. Eddy van Doorslaer & Cristina Masseria, 2004. "Income-Related Inequality in the Use of Medical Care in 21 OECD Countries," OECD Health Working Papers 14, OECD Publishing.
  44. Slemrod, Joel, 1998. "On Voluntary Compliance, Voluntary Taxes, and Social Capital," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 3), pages 485-91, September.
  45. Brennan, Geoffrey, 1973. "Pareto desirable redistribution: the case of malice and envy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 173-183, April.
  46. Benno Torgler, 2005. "A Knight without a Sword?. The Effects of Audit Courts on Tax Morale," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 161(4), pages 735-, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:51:y:2013:i:2:p:1542-1565. 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: (Christopher F. Baum)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.