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Ambition and Jealousy: Income Interactions in the 'Old' Europe versus the 'New' Europe and the United States

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  • CLAUDIA SENIK

Abstract

Using individual-level data from a large number of countries, this paper examines how self-reported subjective well-being depends on own income and reference income, where reference income is defined as the income of one's professional peers. It uncovers a divide between 'old'-low-mobility-European countries on the one hand, and 'new' European post-Transition countries and the United States on the other. The relative importance of comparisons ('jealousy') versus information ('ambition') seems to depend on the degree of mobility and uncertainty in the considered countries. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.

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  • Claudia Senik, 2008. "Ambition and Jealousy: Income Interactions in the 'Old' Europe versus the 'New' Europe and the United States," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(299), pages 495-513, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:75:y:2008:i:299:p:495-513
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    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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