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Dominance and Competition

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  • Aldo Rustichini

Abstract

We propose and test two possible explanations of envy and its opposite, gloating. One explanation views them as a learning process, just as regret and rejoice are in the private domain:envy is the social correspondent of regret. The other explanation traces envy back to the natural tendency of individuals to seek higher positions in the social ranking, that is a dominant position, a tendency with very strong evolutionary motives. We show experimentally that these two functional reasons for envy coexist. Competition is the product of the desire for dominance, rather than the artificial output of social arrangements. (JEL:D12, D87) (c) 2008 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Aldo Rustichini, 2008. "Dominance and Competition," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 647-656, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:6:y:2008:i:2-3:p:647-656
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    Cited by:

    1. Gary Charness & David Masclet & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "The Dark Side of Competition for Status," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 60(1), pages 38-55, January.
    2. Boris Gershman, 2014. "The two sides of envy," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 407-438, December.
    3. C. Giannetti & R. Orsini, 2013. "Mortality Salience, Self-esteem and Status Seeking," Working Papers wp910, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    4. R. Orsini & E. Ciaramelli & C. Giannetti, 2015. "Does death make us all equal? Conformism and status-seeking under mortality salience," Working Papers wp997, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    5. Francesco Fallucchi & Elke Renner, 2016. "Reputational Concerns in Repeated Rent-Seeking Contests," Discussion Papers 2016-05, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    6. David Masclet & Emmanuel Peterle & Sophie Larribeau, 2012. "Gender Differences in Competitive and Non Competitive Environments: An Experimental Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 201236, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics

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