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Does envy destroy social fundamentals? The impact of relative income position on social capital

Listed author(s):
  • Justina A. V. Fischer
  • Benno Torgler

Research evidence on the impact of relative income position on individual attitudes and behaviour is sorely lacking. Therefore, this paper assesses such positional impact on social capital by applying 14 different measurements to International Social Survey Programme data from 25 countries. We find support for a positional concern effect or ‘envy’ whose magnitude in several cases is quite substantial. The results indicate that such an effect is non-linear. In addition, we find an indication that absolute income level is also relevant. Lastly, changing the reference group (regional versus national) produces no significant differences in the results.

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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6640/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 6640.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6640
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