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Does Positional Concern Matter in Poor Societies? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Rural Ethiopia

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  • Akay, Alpaslan
  • Martinsson, Peter
  • Medhin, Haileselassie

Abstract

We investigate attitudes toward positionality among rural farmers in Northern Ethiopia using a survey experiment. On average, we find very low positional concerns both for income per se and for income from aid projects. The results support the claim that positional concerns are positively correlated with absolute level of income. The implications of our results on implementation of aid projects are discussed.

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  • Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie, 2012. "Does Positional Concern Matter in Poor Societies? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 428-435.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:40:y:2012:i:2:p:428-435 DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.06.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter, 2012. "Positional Concerns through the Life Cycle: Evidence from Subjective Well-Being Data and Survey Experiments," IZA Discussion Papers 6342, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Corazzini, Luca & Esposito, Lucio & Majorano, Francesca, 2012. "Reign in hell or serve in heaven? A cross-country journey into the relative vs absolute perceptions of wellbeing," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 715-730.
    3. Alpaslan Akay & Lisa Andersson & Peter Martinsson & Haileselassie Medhin, 2014. "Positional Concerns among the Poor: Does Reference Group Matter? Evidence from Survey Experiments," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(5), pages 673-699.
    4. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter, 2011. "Does relative income matter for the very poor? Evidence from rural Ethiopia," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 213-215, March.
    5. Petri Böckerman & Jani-Petri Laamanen & Esa Palosaari, 2016. "The Role of Social Ties in Explaining Heterogeneity in the Association Between Economic Growth and Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(6), pages 2457-2479, December.
    6. Tsegay Gebrekidan Tekleselassie, 2017. "Subjective Wellbeing and Institutions: The Case of Rural Ethiopia," Working Papers 016, Ethiopian Development Research Institute.
    7. Kebede, Bereket & Zizzo, Daniel John, 2015. "Social Preferences and Agricultural Innovation: An Experimental Case Study from Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 267-280.
    8. Jinan Zeidan, 2015. "Are Comparisons Luxuries? Subjective Poverty and Positional Concerns in Indonesia," AMSE Working Papers 1505, Aix-Marseille School of Economics, Marseille, France.
    9. El Harbi, Sana & Bekir, Insaf & Grolleau, Gilles & Sutan, Angela, 2015. "Efficiency, equality, positionality: What do people maximize? Experimental vs. hypothetical evidence from Tunisia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 77-84.
    10. Tekleselassie, Tsegay Gebrekidan, 2016. "Three essays on the impact of institutions and policies on socio-economic outcomes," Economics PhD Theses 1316, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    11. He, Haoran & Wu, Keyu, 2016. "Choice set, relative income, and inequity aversion: An experimental investigation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 177-193.
    12. 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.
    13. Kaus, Wolfhard, 2013. "Conspicuous consumption and “race”: Evidence from South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 63-73.
    14. Jinan Zeidan, 2015. "Are Comparisons Luxuries? Subjective Poverty and Positional Concerns in Indonesia," Working Papers halshs-01114396, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; Ethiopia; positional concern; relative income; survey experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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