IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/tpr/restat/v95y2013i5p1480-1500.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Relative Status and Well-Being: Evidence from U.S. Suicide Deaths

Author

Listed:
  • Mary C. Daly

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Daniel J. Wilson

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Norman J. Johnson

    (U.S. Census Bureau)

Abstract

We assess the importance of interpersonal income comparisons using data on suicide deaths. We examine whether suicide risk is related to others' income, holding own income and other individual and environmental factors fixed. We estimate models of the suicide hazard using two independent data sets: the National Longitudinal Mortality Study and the National Center for Health Statistics' Multiple Cause of Death Files combined with the 5% Public Use Micro Sample of the 1990 decennial census. Results from both data sources show that, controlling for own income and individual characteristics, individual suicide risk rises with others' income. (No rights reserved. This work was authored as part of the Contributor's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. law.)

Suggested Citation

  • Mary C. Daly & Daniel J. Wilson & Norman J. Johnson, 2013. "Relative Status and Well-Being: Evidence from U.S. Suicide Deaths," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1480-1500, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:5:p:1480-1500
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00355
    File Function: link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    2. Tekin, Erdal & Markowitz, Sara, 2005. "Suicidal Behavior and the Labor Market Productivity of Young Adults," IZA Discussion Papers 1547, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Abel, Andrew B, 1990. "Asset Prices under Habit Formation and Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 38-42, May.
    4. Brown, Gordon D. A. & Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J. & Qian, Jing, 2005. "Does Wage Rank Affect Employees' Wellbeing?," IZA Discussion Papers 1505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Miller, Douglas L. & Paxson, Christina, 2006. "Relative income, race, and mortality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 979-1003, September.
    6. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    7. Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1815-1831, November.
    8. Mary C. Daly & Daniel J. Wilson, 2006. "Keeping up with the Joneses and staying ahead of the Smiths: evidence from suicide data," Working Paper Series 2006-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    9. Alesina, Alberto & Di Tella, Rafael & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and happiness: are Europeans and Americans different?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2009-2042, August.
    10. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    11. Gali, Jordi, 1994. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Consumption Externalities, Portfolio Choice, and Asset Prices," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(1), pages 1-8, February.
    12. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Are Recessions Good for Your Health?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 617-650.
    13. Christopher Peterson & Nansook Park & Martin Seligman, 2005. "Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: the full life versus the empty life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 25-41, March.
    14. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    15. Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Income distribution, happiness and satisfaction: A direct test of the interdependent preferences model," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 425-446, December.
    16. 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.
    17. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Karen E. Norberg, 2001. "Explaining the Rise in Youth Suicide," NBER Chapters,in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 219-270 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    19. Dirk Engelmann & Martin Strobel, 2004. "Inequality Aversion, Efficiency, and Maximin Preferences in Simple Distribution Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 857-869, September.
    20. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:1:150-153_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Dave E. Marcotte, 2003. "The Economics of Suicide, Revisited," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 628-643, January.
    22. John Helliwell, 2007. "Well-Being and Social Capital: Does Suicide Pose a Puzzle?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 455-496, May.
    23. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    24. Sendhil Mullainathan & Marianne Bertrand, 2001. "Do People Mean What They Say? Implications for Subjective Survey Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 67-72, May.
    25. Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
    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:taf:apeclt:v:23:y:2016:i:5:p:307-312 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Patrick Pintus & Yi Wen, 2013. "Leveraged Borrowing and Boom-Bust Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(4), pages 617-633, October.
    3. Michalis Nikiforos, 2015. "A Nonbehavioral Theory of Saving," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_844, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Achyuta Adhvaryu & James Fenske & Anant Nyshadham, 2014. "Early Life Circumstance and Mental Health in Ghana," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. Nguyen, Ha & Duncan, Alan, 2015. "Macroeconomic fluctuations in home countries and immigrants’ well-being: New evidence from Down Under," MPRA Paper 69593, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2016.
    6. Bucciol, Alessandro & Cavasso, Barbara & Zarri, Luca, 2015. "Social status and personality traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 245-260.
    7. Ikeda Shin S., 2016. "Graphical analyses of occupation-wise suicide risk in Japan," GRIPS Discussion Papers 16-03, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    8. Alessandro Bucciol & Simona Cicognani & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Social Status-Enhancing Power of Social Ties," Working Papers 04/2017, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    9. Tara Watson & Sara McLanahan, 2011. "Marriage Meets the Joneses: Relative Income, Identity, and Marital Status," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 482-517.
    10. Sanna Huikari & Marko Korhonen, 2016. "The Impact of Unemployment on Well-Being: Evidence from the Regional Level Suicide Data in Finland," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 1103-1119, September.
    11. Alejandro SALAZAR-ADAMS & Nicolás PINEDA-PABLOS, "undated". "Policies for Meeting Future Water Needs in Mexican Cities," EcoMod2010 259600147, EcoMod.
    12. Nadia Campaniello & Theodoros M. Diasakos & Giovanni Mastrobuoni, 2017. "Rationalizable Suicides: Evidence from Changes in Inmates’ Expected Length of Sentence," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 388-428.
    13. Shin S. Ikeda, 2013. "A Contingent Claim Analysis of Suicide," GRIPS Discussion Papers 13-05, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.
    14. Marko Korhonen & Mikko Puhakka & Matti Viren, 2016. "Economic hardship and suicide mortality in Finland, 1875–2010," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 17(2), pages 129-137, March.
    15. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
    16. Hai V. Nguyen, 2016. "Keeping Up with the Joneses: Neighbourhood Wealth and Hypertension," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1255-1271, June.
    17. Janet L. Yellen, 2007. "Implications of behavioral economics for monetary policy," Speech 41, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    18. James Fenske & Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2014. "Early Life Circumstance and Adult Mental Health," Economics Series Working Papers 698, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    19. Hudson, Eibhlin, 2013. "Does relative material wealth matter for child and adolescent life satisfaction?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 38-47.
    20. Fischer, Justina AV, 2009. "Subjective Well-Being as Welfare Measure: Concepts and Methodology," MPRA Paper 16619, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Alessandro Bucciol & Simona Cicognani & Luca Zarri, 2017. "The Status-Enhancing Power of Sociability," Working Paper series 17-15, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    relative income; interpersonal comparisons; interdependent preferences; suicide; happiness;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General

    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:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:5:p:1480-1500. 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: (Ann Olson). General contact details of provider: https://www.mitpressjournals.org/ .

    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.