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The Joneses in Japan: Income Comparisons and Financial Satisfaction

  • Andrew Clark
  • Claudia Senik
  • Katsunori Yamada

This paper uses Japanese data which includes measures of self-declared satisfaction, reference-group income, and the direction and intensity of income comparisons. Relative to Europeans, the Japanese compare more to friends and less to colleagues, and compare their incomes more. The relationship between satisfaction and others' income is negative, and more negative for those who report greater income comparison intensity. A self-reported measure of others' income does better than cell-mean income in explaining satisfaction, and would arguably make a useful addition to many existing surveys.

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Paper provided by Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University in its series ISER Discussion Paper with number 0866.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0866
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  4. John Knight & Lina Song, 2007. "Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China," Economics Series Working Papers 334, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  6. Senik, Claudia, 2009. "Direct evidence on income comparisons and their welfare effects," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 408-424, October.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia, 2009. "Who Compares to Whom? The Anatomy of Income Comparisons in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 4414, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Takashi Oshio & Kayo Nozaki & Miki Kobayashi, 2011. "Relative Income and Happiness in Asia: Evidence from Nationwide Surveys in China, Japan, and Korea," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 351-367, December.
  9. Andrew E. Clark & Paul Frijters & Michael A. Shields, 2008. "Relative Income, Happiness, and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(1), pages 95-144, March.
  10. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  11. Takanori Ida & Rei Goto, 2009. "Simultaneous Measurement Of Time And Risk Preferences: Stated Preference Discrete Choice Modeling Analysis Depending On Smoking Behavior," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1169-1182, November.
  12. Katsunori Yamada & Masayuki Sato, 2010. "Another Avenue for Anatomy of Income Comparisons: Evidence from Hypothetical Choice Experiments," ISER Discussion Paper 0795, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Mar 2013.
  13. 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.
  14. Adrian de la Garza & Giovanni Mastrobuoni & Atsushi Sannabe & Katsunori Yamada, 2010. "The Relative Utility Hypothesis With and Without Self-reported Reference Wages," ISER Discussion Paper 0798, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Jul 2012.
  15. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L., 1992. "Valuing public goods: The purchase of moral satisfaction," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 57-70, January.
  16. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  17. Mickael Bech & Trine Kjaer & Jørgen Lauridsen, 2011. "Does the number of choice sets matter? Results from a web survey applying a discrete choice experiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(3), pages 273-286, March.
  18. Stark, Oded & Taylor, J Edward, 1991. "Migration Incentives, Migration Types: The Role of Relative Deprivation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1163-78, September.
  19. W. Viscusi & Joel Huber & Jason Bell, 2008. "Estimating discount rates for environmental quality from utility-based choice experiments," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 199-220, December.
  20. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
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