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Reference standards for income comparisons: evidence from immigrants' return visits

  • Holger Stichnoth

    ()

    (ZEW Mannheim)

The present paper shows evidence consistent with Falk and Knell's (2004) prediction that individuals' reference income increases with ability. To overcome the difficulty that the reference income is not observed in most data sets, I use indirect evidence from immigrants return visits to their countries of origin. Falk and Knell's model predicts that more educated immigrants are less likely to have returned to their country of origin for a visit, and that they are more likely to have difficulty feeling at home when they do return for a visit. Both predictions are tested using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and cannot be rejected.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2013/Volume33/EB-13-V33-I4-P255.pdf
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Article provided by AccessEcon in its journal Economics Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 33 (2013)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 2707-2717

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Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-13-00557
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  1. Gundi Knies & Simon Burgess & Carol Propper, 2008. "Keeping up with the Schmidt`s – An Empirical Test of Relative Deprivation Theory in the Neighbourhood Context," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 128(1), pages 75-108.
  2. Falk, Armin & Knell, Markus, 2004. "Choosing the Joneses: Endogenous Goals and Reference Standards," IZA Discussion Papers 1152, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Akay, Alpaslan & Bargain, Olivier & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Relative Concerns of Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China," IZA Discussion Papers 5480, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. Ciro Avitabile & Irma Clots-Figueras & Paolo Masella, 2013. "The Effect of Birthright Citizenship on Parental Integration Outcomes," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56(3), pages 777 - 810.
  6. Daniel Hamermesh & Stephen Trejo, 2013. "How do immigrants spend their time? The process of assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 507-530, April.
  7. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  8. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2008. "Self-Regulation through Goal Setting," IZA Discussion Papers 3893, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Schwarze, Johannes & Harpfer, Marco, 2007. "Are people inequality averse, and do they prefer redistribution by the state?: Evidence from German longitudinal data on life satisfaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 233-249, April.
  10. Conchita D’Ambrosio & Joachim Frick, 2007. "Income Satisfaction and Relative Deprivation: An Empirical Link," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 497-519, May.
  11. Hsiaw, Alice, 2013. "Goal-setting and self-control," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 148(2), pages 601-626.
  12. Gundi Knies, 2010. "Income Comparisons among Neighbours and Life Satisfaction in East and West Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 298, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  13. Anton Suvorov & Jeroen van de Ven, 2008. "Goal Setting as a Self-Regulation Mechanism," Working Papers w0122, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  14. Ciro Avitabile & Irma Clots-Figueras & Paolo Masella, 2014. "Citizenship, Fertility, and Parental Investments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 35-65, October.
  15. Joerg Dittmann & Jan Goebel, 2010. "Your House, Your Car, Your Education: The Socioeconomic Situation of the Neighborhood and its Impact on Life Satisfaction in Germany," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 96(3), pages 497-513, May.
  16. Anzelika Zaiceva & Klaus Zimmermann, 2011. "Do ethnic minorities “stretch” their time? UK household evidence on multitasking," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 181-206, June.
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