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Ordinal vs cardinal status: Two examples

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  • Bilancini, Ennio
  • Boncinelli, Leonardo

Abstract

We demonstrate that in models where agents have concerns for status the model predictions can drastically change depending on whether status is modelled as an ordinal or cardinal magnitude. As a proof, we show that two well known theoretical findings are not robust to the substitution of ordinal status with cardinal status [Frank, R.H., The Demand for Unobservable and Other Positional Goods. American Economic Review, (75):101-116, 1985.] and viceversa [Clark, A. and Oswald, R.J., Comparison-Concave Utility and Following Behavior in Social and Economic Settings. Journal of Public Economics, (70):133-155, 1998.].

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  • Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2008. "Ordinal vs cardinal status: Two examples," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 17-19, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:101:y:2008:i:1:p:17-19
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    Cited by:

    1. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2014. "Instrumental cardinal concerns for social status in two-sided matching with non-transferable utility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 174-189.
    2. Christopher Tsoukis & Frédéric Tournemaine, 2013. "Status In A Canonical Macro Model: Labour Supply, Growth And Inequality," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81(s2), pages 65-92, October.
    3. Gallice, Andrea, 2018. "Social status, preferences for redistribution and optimal taxation: A survey," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-17.
    4. Frédéric Gavrel, 2019. "One Dynamic Game for Two Veblenian Ideas. Income Redistribution is Pareto-Improving in the Presence of Social Concerns," Working Papers halshs-02083460, HAL.
    5. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2019. "Wage inequality, labor income taxes, and the notion of social status," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 13, pages 1-35.
    6. Ferrari, Luca, 2018. "Social limits to redistribution and conspicuous norms," Economics Discussion Papers 2018-30, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Harald W. Lang, 2016. "You Are Not Alone: Experimental Evidence on Risk Taking When Social Comparisons Matter," Working Papers tax-mpg-rps-2016-12, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
    8. Kukushkin, Nikolai S., 2019. "Equilibria in ordinal status games," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 130-135.
    9. Oded Stark, 2017. "Migration when Social Preferences are Ordinal: Steady-state Population Distribution and Social Welfare," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(336), pages 647-666, October.
    10. S. Wouters & N. Exel & M. Donk & K. Rohde & W. Brouwer, 2015. "Do people desire to be healthier than other people? A short note on positional concerns for health," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 16(1), pages 47-54, January.
    11. Bilancini, Ennio & D'Alessandro, Simone, 2012. "Long-run welfare under externalities in consumption, leisure, and production: A case for happy degrowth vs. unhappy growth," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 194-205.
    12. Wai Chiu Woo, 2016. "Quantity versus variety: Which aspect does status-seeking promote?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 63(2), pages 93-106, June.
    13. George Deltas & Eleftherios Zacharias, 2018. "Product Proliferation and Pricing in a Market with Positional Effects," Working Papers 242312853, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    14. Ennio Bilancini & Massimo D'Antoni, 2008. "Pensions and Intergenerational Risk-Sharing When Relative Consumption Matters," Department of Economics University of Siena 541, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    15. Bilancini, Ennio & Boncinelli, Leonardo, 2012. "Redistribution and the notion of social status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 651-657.
    16. Ferrari, Luca, 2018. "Social limits to redistribution and conspicuous norms," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-21.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    D0 Status Social comparison Ordinality Cardinality;

    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General

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