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Lower in Rank, but Happier: The Complex Relationship between Status and Happiness

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  • Bert Van Landeghem
  • Anneleen Vandeplas

Abstract

Case studies across the social sciences have established a positive relationship between social status and happiness. In observational data, however, identification challenges remain severe. This study exploits the fact that in India people are assigned a caste from birth. In data on 1000 individuals living in the Punjab, a state with a large income gap between middle and high castes in spite of similar education levels, we find that those in the middle are the least happy. [LICOS Discussion Paper No. 385].

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  • Bert Van Landeghem & Anneleen Vandeplas, 2016. "Lower in Rank, but Happier: The Complex Relationship between Status and Happiness," Working Papers id:11441, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:11441
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    subjective well-being; happiness; social status; social comparison; middle; high castes; education levels; Punjab; birth; India; status; happiness; Andhra Pradesh;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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