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Subjective Well-Being: Keeping Up with the Perception of the Joneses

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  • Cahit Guven

    ()

  • Bent Sørensen

    ()

Abstract

Using data from the US General Social Survey 1972–2004, we study the role of perceptions and status in self-reported happiness. Reference group income negatively relates to own happiness and high perceptions about own relative income, quality of dwelling, and social class relate positively and very significantly to happiness. Perceptions about income and status matter more for females, and for low income, conservative, more social, and less trusting individuals. Dwelling perceptions matter more for males, and for middle income, married, conservative, more social, and less trusting individuals. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Cahit Guven & Bent Sørensen, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being: Keeping Up with the Perception of the Joneses," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 439-469, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:109:y:2012:i:3:p:439-469
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-011-9910-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2015. "Direct evidence for income comparisons and subjective well-being across reference groups," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 95-101.
    2. Hartmann, Dominik & Jara-Figueroa, Cristian & Kaltenberg, Mary & Gala, Paulo, 2019. "Mapping stratification: The industry-occupation space reveals the network structure of inequality," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 06-2019, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    3. Semih Tumen & Tugba Zeydanli, 2014. "Home Ownership and Job Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(1), pages 165-177, May.
    4. Michalis Nikiforos, 2015. "A Nonbehavioral Theory of Saving," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_844, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Li, Linyang, 2018. "Financial inclusion and poverty: The role of relative income," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 165-191.
    6. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Marianna Kudlyak & John Mondragon, 2014. "Does Greater Inequality Lead to More Household Borrowing? New Evidence from Household Data," NBER Working Papers 19850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Swee Ang & Elison Lim & Siew Leong & Zhaonan Chen, 2015. "In Pursuit of Happiness: Effects of Mental Subtraction and Alternative Comparison," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(1), pages 87-103, May.
    8. Esposito, Lucio & Villaseñor, Adrián, 2017. "Relative deprivation: Measurement issues and predictive role for body image dissatisfaction," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 192(C), pages 49-57.
    9. Mingzhi Hu & Wenping Ye, 2020. "Home Ownership and Subjective Wellbeing: A Perspective from Ownership Heterogeneity," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 1059-1079, March.
    10. Pannenberg, Markus & Goerke, Laszlo, 2013. "Direct Evidence on Income Comparisons and Subjective Well-Being," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79799, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    11. Elena Bárcena-Martín & Cortés Aguilar Alexandra & Ana I. Moro Egido, 2013. "The role of proximity and social comparisons on subjective well-being," ThE Papers 13/10, Department of Economic Theory and Economic History of the University of Granada..
    12. Goerke, Laszlo & Pannenberg, Markus, 2013. "Keeping up with the Joneses: Income Comparisons and Labour Supply," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80033, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Esposito, Lucio & Villaseñor, Adrián & Rodríguez, Enrique Cuevas & Millett, Christopher, 2020. "The economic gradient of obesity in Mexico: Independent predictive roles of absolute and relative wealth by gender," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 250(C).
    14. Elena Bárcena-Martín & Alexandra Cortés-Aguilar & Ana I. Moro-Egido, 2017. "Social Comparisons on Subjective Well-Being: The Role of Social and Cultural Capital," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 1121-1145, August.
    15. Nekeisha Spencer & Zhonghui Liu, 2019. "Victimization and Life Satisfaction: Evidence from a High Crime Country," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 475-495, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Happiness; Social comparison; Status; Perceptions; D14; D63; I31;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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