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Relative Income Position and Performance: An Empirical Panel Analysis

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  • Benno Torgler
  • Sascha L. Schmidt
  • Bruno S. Frey

Abstract

Many studies have established that people care a great deal about their relative economic position and not solely, as standard economic theory assumes, about their absolute economic position. However, behavioral evidence is rare. This paper provides an empirical analysis on how individuals? relative income position affects their performance. Using a unique data set for 1114 soccer players over a period of eight seasons (2833 observations), our analysis suggests that the larger the income differences within a team, the worse the performance of the soccer players is. The more the players are integrated in a particular social environment (their team), the more evident this negative effect is.

Suggested Citation

  • Benno Torgler & Sascha L. Schmidt & Bruno S. Frey, 2006. "Relative Income Position and Performance: An Empirical Panel Analysis," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-03, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2006-03
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    1. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9306-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Benno Torgler & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2006. "Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact of Relative Income Position on Social Capital," Working Papers 2006.38, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Abeler, Johannes & Altmann, Steffen & Kube, Sebastian & Wibral, Matthias, 2006. "Reciprocity and Payment Schemes: When Equality Is Unfair," Ratio Working Papers 109, The Ratio Institute.
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    5. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2012. "Conspicuous Consumption and Communism: Evidence from East and West Germany," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201203, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    6. Saima Naeem & Asad Zaman, 2013. "For Love or Money? Motivating Workers," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:90, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    7. Alex Bryson & Bernd Frick & Rob Simmons, 2009. "The Returns to Scarce Talent: Footedness and Player Remuneration in European Soccer," CEP Discussion Papers dp0948, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2017. "Gambling to leapfrog in status?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1291-1319, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative income; positional concerns; envy; performance; social integration;

    JEL classification:

    • D00 - Microeconomics - - General - - - General
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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