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Individual and intra-household positionality in Vietnam

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  • Anderson, C. Leigh
  • Stahley, Katelyn
  • Cullen, Alison C.

Abstract

We contribute new individual and intra-household findings to the literature on positionality – the degree to which an individual's perceptions of well-being are influenced by his or her income or consumption relative to others – using primary data from Vietnam. In addition to a rich field setting for testing social preferences, we interviewed male and female spouses separately providing novel gender disaggregated data and intra-household measures. We find that income is positional for two-thirds of the respondents, with a fifth willing to continue foregoing absolute income to maintain their relative position. Unlike earlier results, we find that women are more positional on average than men. Our results suggest that one's sensitivity to positionality is related to changes in one's relative position over time; respondents reporting a higher standard of living at the time of marriage were associated with a higher degree of positionality. We find an association between accord in a couple's positionality and the degree to which wives exercise decision making authority in the household.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:49:y:2014:i:c:p:26-34
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2014.02.004
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