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Positional Income Concerns: Prevalence and Relationship with Personality and Economic Preferences

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  • Tim Friehe

    () (Center for Advanced Studies in Law and Economics Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn)

  • Mario Mechtel

    () (Institute for Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the EU, University of Trier)

  • Markus Pannenberg

    ()

Abstract

This paper presents detailed evidence about who compares to whom in terms of relative income. We rely on representative survey data on the importance of income comparisons vis-a-vis seven reference groups, allowing us to exploit within subject heterogeneity. We explore the prevalence and determinants of positional income concerns, investigating the role of personality and economic preferences. Our results establish robust relationships between positional income concerns and the personality traits agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism, some of which depend on the reference group. Furthermore, risk and fairness preferences are signi cantly correlated with positional income concerns.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel & Markus Pannenberg, 2014. "Positional Income Concerns: Prevalence and Relationship with Personality and Economic Preferences," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201411, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
  • Handle: RePEc:iaa:dpaper:201411
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    1. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9306-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Baumann, Florian & Friehe, Tim, 2015. "Status concerns as a motive for crime?," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 46-55.
    3. Marco de Pinto, 2015. "Firm-level versus Sector-level Trade Unions – The Role of Rent-Sharing Motives," IAAEU Discussion Papers 201508, Institute of Labour Law and Industrial Relations in the European Union (IAAEU).
    4. Tim Friehe & Mario Mechtel, 2017. "Gambling to leapfrog in status?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 1291-1319, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    relative income; status; personality; Big Five; survey; SOEP; economic preferences; risk; fairness;

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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