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Economic Satisfaction and Income Rank in Small Neighbourhoods

  • Clark, Andrew E.

    ()

    (Paris School of Economics)

  • Kristensen, Nicolai

    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

  • Westergaard-Nielsen, Niels

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

We contribute to the literature on well-being and comparisons by appealing to new Danish data dividing the country up into around 9,000 small neighbourhoods. Administrative data provides us with the income of every person in each of these neighbourhoods. This income information is matched to demographic and economic satisfaction variables from eight years of Danish ECHP data. Panel regression analysis shows that, conditional on own household income, respondents report higher satisfaction levels when their neighbours are richer. However, individuals are rank-sensitive: conditional on own income and neighbourhood median income, respondents are more satisfied as their percentile neighbourhood ranking improves. A ten percentage point rise in rank (i.e. from 40th to 20th position in a 200-household cell) is worth 0.11 on a one to six scale, which is a large marginal effect in satisfaction terms.

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Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-25.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2008_025
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx

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  1. Brown, Gordon D. A. & Gardner, Jonathan & Oswald, Andrew J. & Qian, Jing, 2005. "Does Wage Rank Affect Employees' Wellbeing?," IZA Discussion Papers 1505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi & Knight, John, 2007. "Community, comparisons and subjective well-being in a divided society," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 69-90, September.
  3. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Damm, Anna Piil & Schultz-Nielsen, Marie Louise, 2008. "The Construction of Neighbourhoods and its Relevance for the Measurement of Social and Ethnic Segregation: Evidence from Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 3719, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2010. "How’s the Job? Well-Being and Social Capital in the Workplace," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 205-227, January.
  6. Bolster, Anne & Burgess, Simon & Johnston, Ron & Jones, Kelvyn & Propper, Carol & Sarker, Rebecca, 2004. "Neighbourhoods, Households and Income Dynamics: A Semi-Parametric Investigation of Neighbourhood Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 4611, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
  9. Carol Graham & Andrew Felton, 2006. "Inequality and happiness: Insights from Latin America," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 107-122, April.
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