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Are Vietnamese Farmers Concerned with their Relative Position in Society?

Author

Listed:
  • Carlsson, Fredrik

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Nam, Pham Khanh

    () (Faculty of Development Economics, University of Economics)

  • Linde-Rahr, Martin

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Martinsson, Peter

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

This paper examines the attitude towards relative position or status among rural households in Vietnam. On average, the respondents show weaker preferences for relative position than in comparable studies in Western countries. Possible explanations are the emphasis on the importance of equality and that villagers are very concerned with how the local community perceives their actions. We also investigate what influences the concern for relative position and find, among other things, that if anyone from the household is a member of the Peoples Committee then the respondent is more concerned with the relative position.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlsson, Fredrik & Nam, Pham Khanh & Linde-Rahr, Martin & Martinsson, Peter, 2005. "Are Vietnamese Farmers Concerned with their Relative Position in Society?," Working Papers in Economics 165, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0165
    Note: Published in Journal of Development Studies, 2007, Vol 43, pp. 1177-1188.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fredrik Carlsson & Olof Johansson-Stenman & Peter Martinsson, 2007. "Do You Enjoy Having More than Others? Survey Evidence of Positional Goods," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 586-598, November.
    2. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
    3. Pingali, Prabhu L & Xuan, Vo-Tong, 1992. "Vietnam: Decollectivization and Rice Productivity Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(4), pages 697-718, July.
    4. Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-750, December.
    5. Alpizar, Francisco & Carlsson, Fredrik & Johansson-Stenman, Olof, 2005. "How much do we care about absolute versus relative income and consumption?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 405-421, March.
    6. Markus Knell, 1999. "Social Comparisons, Inequality, and Growth," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 155(4), pages 664-664, December.
    7. Martin Ravallion & Dominique van de Walle, 2004. "Breaking up the collective farms," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(2), pages 201-236, June.
    8. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
    9. Persson, Mats, 1995. " Why Are Taxes So High in Egalitarian Societies?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 569-580, December.
    10. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
    11. Harald Uhlig & Lars Ljungqvist, 2000. "Tax Policy and Aggregate Demand Management under Catching Up with the Joneses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 356-366, June.
    12. J. Solnick, Sara & Hemenway, David, 1998. "Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 373-383, November.
    13. Olof Johansson-Stenman & Fredrik Carlsson & Dinky Daruvala, 2002. "Measuring Future Grandparents" Preferences for Equality and Relative Standing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(479), pages 362-383, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Carlsson, Fredrik & Qin, Ping, 2008. "It is better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix: a study of concern for relative standing in rural China," Working Papers in Economics 308, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Alpaslan Akay & Lisa Andersson & Peter Martinsson & Haileselassie Medhin, 2014. "Positional Concerns among the Poor: Does Reference Group Matter? Evidence from Survey Experiments," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(5), pages 673-699.
    3. Carlsson, Fredrik & Qin, Ping, 2010. "It is better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix: Concern for relative standing in rural China," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 180-186, April.
    4. Mzoughi, Naoufel, 2014. "Do organic farmers feel happier than conventional ones? An exploratory analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 38-43.
    5. Mzoughi, Naoufel, 2011. "Farmers adoption of integrated crop protection and organic farming: Do moral and social concerns matter?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1536-1545, June.
    6. Andersson, Fredrik W., 2008. "Is concern for relative consumption a function of relative consumption," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 353-364, February.
    7. Mercedes Beltrán-Esteve & Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo & Ernest Reig-Martínez, 2012. "What makes a citrus farmer go organic? Empirical evidence from Spanish citrus farming," Working Papers 1205, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    8. Andersson, Fredrik W., 2006. "Is Concern for Relative Consumption a Function of Relative Consumption?," Working Papers in Economics 220, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Markus Jäntti & Ravi Kanbur & Milla Nyyssölä & Jukka Pirttilä, 2014. "Poverty and Welfare Measurement on the Basis of Prospect Theory," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(1), pages 182-205, March.
    10. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie, 2010. "Does Relative Position Matter in Poor Societies? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Rural Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-10-05-efd, Resources For the Future.
    11. Akay, Alpaslan & Martinsson, Peter & Medhin, Haileselassie, 2012. "Does Positional Concern Matter in Poor Societies? Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 428-435.
    12. Anderson, C. Leigh & Stahley, Katelyn & Cullen, Alison C., 2014. "Individual and intra-household positionality in Vietnam," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 26-34.
    13. Kleemann, Linda & Abdulai, Awudu, 2013. "Organic certification, agro-ecological practices and return on investment: Evidence from pineapple producers in Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 330-341.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Relative income; positionality; experiments; Vietnam; Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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