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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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File URL: http://www.iser.osaka-u.ac.jp/library/dp/2013/DP0866.pdf
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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
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Handle: RePEc:dpr:wpaper:0866
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  1. Senik, Claudia, 2007. "Direct Evidence on Income Comparisons and their Welfare Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 3195, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  3. AndrewE. Clark & Claudia Senik, 2010. "Who Compares to Whom? The Anatomy of Income Comparisons in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(544), pages 573-594, 05.
  4. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  5. Guy Mayraz & Gert G. Wagner & Jürgen Schupp, 2009. "Life Satisfaction and Relative Income: Perceptions and Evidence," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 214, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  6. 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.
  7. Yamada, Katsunori & Sato, Masayuki, 2013. "Another avenue for anatomy of income comparisons: Evidence from hypothetical choice experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 35-57.
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  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.
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  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, . "Does Marriage Make People Happy, Or Do Happy People Get Married?," IEW - Working Papers 143, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  20. 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.
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