IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/soceco/v39y2010i2p180-186.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

It is better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix: Concern for relative standing in rural China

Author

Listed:
  • Carlsson, Fredrik
  • Qin, Ping

Abstract

This paper examines the concern for relative standing among rural households in China. We used a survey-experimental method to measure to what extent poor Chinese farmers care about their relative income. We found compared to previous studies in developed countries, the concern for relative standing seems to be equally strong among rural households in China. This should be seen in the light of the rapid change China has undergone, with high growth, and increased inequality. Thus, the rural population, which is lagging behind, is suffering not only from the low absolute income but also from low relative income.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik & Qin, Ping, 2010. "It is better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix: Concern for relative standing in rural China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 180-186, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:180-186
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W5H-4YCS01D-2/2/86aa5fc8a54f5faf6874a93cfe7fe882
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2007. "Community, comparisons and subjective well-being in a divided society," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 69-90, September.
    2. Johansson-Stenman, Olof & Martinsson, Peter, 2006. "Honestly, why are you driving a BMW?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 129-146, June.
    3. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2010. "Who cares about relative deprivation?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 171-185, February.
    4. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
    5. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    6. Fredrik Carlsson & Pham Khanh Nam & Martin Linde-Rahr & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Are Vietnamese farmers concerned with their relative position in society?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(7), pages 1177-1188.
    7. KNIGHT, John & SONG, Lina & GUNATILAKA, Ramani, 2009. "Subjective well-being and its determinants in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 635-649, December.
    8. Benjamin, Dwayne & Brandt, Loren & Giles, John, 2005. "The Evolution of Income Inequality in Rural China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 769-824, July.
    9. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
    10. Brown, Philip H. & Bulte, Erwin & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "Positional spending and status seeking in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 139-149, September.
    11. Markus Knell, 1999. "Social Comparisons, Inequality, and Growth," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 664-664, December.
    12. Andersson, Fredrik W., 2006. "Is Concern for Relative Consumption a Function of Relative Consumption?," Working Papers in Economics 220, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    13. Fredrik Carlsson & Gautam Gupta & Olof Johansson-Stenman, 2009. "Keeping up with the Vaishyas? Caste and relative standing in India," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 52-73, January.
    14. Solnick, Sara J. & Hong, Li & Hemenway, David, 2007. "Positional goods in the United States and China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 537-545, August.
    15. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005. "How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
    16. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
    17. Chang, Gene H., 2002. "The cause and cure of China's widening income disparity," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 335-340, December.
    18. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9306-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hillesheim, Inga & Mechtel, Mario, 2013. "How much do others matter? Explaining positional concerns for different goods and personal characteristics," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, pages 61-77.
    3. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2012. "Conspicuous Consumption and Communism: Evidence from East and West Germany," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201203, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    4. HAURET Laetitia & WILLIAMS Donald R., 2017. "Choice of colleagues as reference group for wage comparison: does group composition matter?," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-10, LISER.
    5. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2017. "Gambling to leapfrog in status?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1291-1319, December.
    6. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2015. "Status concerns as a motive for crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-55.
    7. Chen, Xi, 2013. "Relative Deprivation in China," MPRA Paper 48582, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Sun, Ping & Unger, Jennifer B. & Palmer, Paula & Ma, Huiyan & Xie, Bin & Sussman, Steve & Johnson, C. Anderson, 2012. "Relative income inequality and selected health outcomes in urban Chinese youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 84-91.
    9. Inga Hillesheim & Mario Mechtel, 2012. "Relative Consumption Concerns or Non-Monotonic Preferences?," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201201, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    10. Friehe, Tim & Mechtel, Mario, 2014. "Conspicuous consumption and political regimes: Evidence from East and West Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 62-81.
    11. Anderson, C. Leigh & Stahley, Katelyn & Cullen, Alison C., 2014. "Individual and intra-household positionality in Vietnam," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 26-34.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative standing China Inequality;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:39:y:2010:i:2:p:180-186. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.