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Stressful Integration


  • Stark, Oded


This paper considers the integration of economies as a merger of populations. The premise is that the merger of groups of people alters their social landscape and their comparators. The paper identifies the effect of the merger on aggregate distress. A merger is shown to increase aggregate distress, measured as aggregate relative deprivation: the social distress of a merged population is greater than the sum of the social distress of the constituent populations when apart. Physiological evidence from neighboring disciplines points to an increase in societal stress upon merger.

Suggested Citation

  • Stark, Oded, 2013. "Stressful Integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-9.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:63:y:2013:i:c:p:1-9 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.04.008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stark, Oded & Fan, C. Simon, 2011. "Migration for degrading work as an escape from humiliation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 241-247, March.
    2. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll & Yong Wang, 2012. "Endogenous Selection of Comparison Groups, Human Capital Formation, and Tax Policy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(313), pages 62-75, January.
    3. AndrewE. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Who Compares to Whom? The Anatomy of Income Comparisons in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 573-594, May.
    4. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll, 2011. "On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 349-375.
    6. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    7. Oded Stark & Franz Rendl & Marcin Jakubek, 2012. "The merger of populations, the incidence of marriages, and aggregate unhappiness," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 331-344, April.
    8. C. Simon Fan & Oded Stark, 2011. "A Theory Of Migration As A Response To Occupational Stigma," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 549-571, May.
    9. David Andolfatto, 2002. "A Theory of Inalienable Property Rights," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 382-393, April.
    10. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
    11. Oded Stark, 2010. "Looking at the Integration of Nations through the Lens of the Merger of Populations: Preliminary Superadditivity and Impossibility Results," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(IV), pages 661-675, December.
    12. Easterlin, Richard A. & Plagnol, Anke C., 2008. "Life satisfaction and economic conditions in East and West Germany pre- and post-unification," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 433-444, December.
    13. Henrekson, Magnus & Torstensson, Johan & Torstensson, Rasha, 1997. "Growth effects of European integration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1537-1557, August.
    14. 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.
    15. Fuchs-Schundeln, Nicola & Alesina, Alberto, 2007. "Good-Bye Lenin (Or Not?): The Effect of Communism on People's Preferences," Scholarly Articles 4553032, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    16. Giacomo Corneo, 2001. "Inequality and the State: Comparing US and German Preferences," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 63-64, pages 283-296.
    17. Bossert, Walter & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2006. "Reference groups and individual deprivation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 421-426, March.
    18. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-324.
    19. John D. Hey & Peter J. Lambert, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-573.
    20. repec:adr:anecst:y:2001:i:63-64:p:14 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Stark, Oded, 2014. "A policy response to a downside of the integration of economies: An impossibility theorem," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 180-184.
    2. Stark, Oded & Jakubek, Marcin & Kobus, Martyna, 2015. "Engineering an incentive to search for work: A comparison groups approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 1-4.
    3. Oded Stark & Marcin Jakubek & Martyna Kobus, 2015. "A bitter choice turned sweet: How acknowledging individuals’ concern at having a low relative income serves to align utilitarianism and egalitarianism," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 541-557, July.
    4. Stark, Oded & Zawojska, Ewa, 2015. "Gender differentiation in risk-taking behavior: On the relative risk aversion of single men and single women," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 83-87.
    5. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:336:p:647-666 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Poczta_Wajda, Agnieszka, 2015. "Feeling of Relative Deprivation as a Driver for Higher Agricultural Subsidies," Problems of World Agriculture / Problemy Rolnictwa Światowego, Wydział Nauk Ekonomicznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski, vol. 15(30).
    7. Oded Stark & Ewa Zawojska, 2016. "Will a government find it financially easier to neutralize a looming protest if more groups are involved?," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 435-450, December.
    8. Poczta-Wajda, Agnieszka, 4. "Why ‟Rich Farmers” Demand Financial Support?," Roczniki (Annals), Polish Association of Agricultural Economists and Agribusiness - Stowarzyszenie Ekonomistow Rolnictwa e Agrobiznesu (SERiA), issue 4.
    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. Stark, Oded & Jakubek, Marcin & Falniowski, Fryderyk, 2014. "Reconciling the Rawlsian and the utilitarian approaches to the maximization of social welfare," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 439-444.

    More about this item


    Merger of populations; Revision of social space; Aggregate relative deprivation; Societal distress;

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • H53 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Welfare Programs
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems


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