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The Joneses in Japan: Income Comparisons and Financial Satisfaction

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  • Andrew Clark
  • Claudia Senik
  • Katsunori Yamada

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Clark & Claudia Senik & Katsunori Yamada, 2013. "The Joneses in Japan: Income Comparisons and Financial Satisfaction," ISER Discussion Paper 0866, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  • Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0866
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    File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2013/DP0866.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ana Maria Takahashi, 2014. "Job-related stress in academia: the role of relative deprivation, hours worked for different tasks, and children," Discussion Papers 1424, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    2. HAURET Laetitia & WILLIAMS Donald R., 2017. "Choice of colleagues as reference group for wage comparison: does group composition matter?," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-10, LISER.
    3. repec:eee:soceco:v:70:y:2017:i:c:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Satya R. Chakravarty & Nachiketa Chattopadhyay & Jacques Silber, 2016. "A poverty line contingent on reference groups: implications for the extent of poverty in some Asian countries," Chapters,in: The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’, chapter 2, pages 30-50 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel & Markus Pannenberg, 2014. "Positional Income Concerns: Prevalence and Relationship with Personality and Economic Preferences," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201411, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    6. Knell, Markus & Stix, Helmut, 2016. "Perceptions of Inequality," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145718, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Andrew E. Clark, 2013. "Social comparisons, health and well-being," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00879776, HAL.
    8. Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia & Yamada, Katsunori, 2017. "When experienced and decision utility concur: The case of income comparisons," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-9.
    9. Andrew E. Clark & Akiko Kamesaka & Teruyuki Tamura, 2015. "Rising aspirations dampen satisfaction," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 515-531.
    10. Friehe, Tim & Mechtel, Mario, 2014. "Conspicuous consumption and political regimes: Evidence from East and West Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 62-81.
    11. Takahashi, Ana Maria, 2016. "Job stress in Japanese academia: The role of relative income, time allocation by task, and children," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 12-17.
    12. Bucciol, Alessandro & Cavasso, Barbara & Zarri, Luca, 2015. "Social status and personality traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 245-260.

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