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When Information Dominates Comparison. A Panel Data Analysis Using Russian Subjective Data

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  • Claudia Senik

Abstract

We propose a micro-econometric investigation into the relation between subjective life satisfaction and income distribution, using a balanced panel survey of the Russian population (RLMS), running from 1994 to 2000, including 4096 individuals. We show that in the context of the Russian very volatile environment, Hirschman's (1973) "tunnel effect" conjecture seems to be validated : variables reflecting income distribution do not influence satisfaction through social comparisons; individuals rather seem to use their informational content in order to form their expectations. The reference group's income exerts a positive influence on individual satisfaction, which contrasts with other studies on the subject. Inequality indices do not affect individual welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Senik, 2002. "When Information Dominates Comparison. A Panel Data Analysis Using Russian Subjective Data," DELTA Working Papers 2002-02, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  • Handle: RePEc:del:abcdef:2002-02
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    Cited by:

    1. Clark, Andrew & Knabe, Andreas & Rätzel, Steffen, 2010. "Boon or bane? Others' unemployment, well-being and job insecurity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 52-61, January.
    2. Ekaterina Kalugina & Boris Najman, 2003. "Travail et pauvreté en Russie : évaluations objectives et perceptions subjectives," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 367(1), pages 83-100.
    3. Andrew E. Clark, 2008. "Happiness, habits and high rank: Comparisons in economic and social life," PSE Working Papers halshs-00586049, HAL.
    4. 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).
    5. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Personal Well-being in Urban China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 231-251, January.
    6. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2004. "Money, Sex and Happiness: An Empirical Study," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 393-415, October.
    7. Senik, Claudia, 2004. "When information dominates comparison: Learning from Russian subjective panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 2099-2123, August.
    8. Frijters, Paul & Liu, Amy Y.C. & Meng, Xin, 2012. "Are optimistic expectations keeping the Chinese happy?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 159-171.
    9. Lelkes, Orsolya, 2003. "A pénz boldogít? A jövedelem és hasznosság kapcsolatának empirikus elemzése
      [Can money buy happiness? An empirical analysis of the relation between income and utility]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 383-405.
    10. Eduardo Pérez-Asenjo, 2011. "If happiness is relative, against whom do we compare ourselves? Implications for labour supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1411-1442, October.
    11. repec:eee:cysrev:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:116-128 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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