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Subjective Well-Being and Relative Deprivation: An Empirical Link

  • D'Ambrosio, Conchita

    ()

    (University of Luxembourg)

  • Frick, Joachim R.

    (DIW Berlin)

This paper explores the relationship between two well-established concepts of measuring individual well-being: the concept of happiness, i.e. self-reported level of satisfaction with income and life, and relative deprivation/satisfaction, i.e. the gaps between the individual's income and the incomes of all individuals richer/poorer than him. Operationalizing both concepts using micro panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we provide empirical evidence for subjective well-being depending more on relative satisfaction than on absolute levels of income. This finding holds even after controlling for other influential factors in a multivariate setting.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1351.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Indicators Research, 2007, 81(3), 497-519
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1351
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  1. Duclos, Jean-Yves & Grégoire, Philippe, 2003. "Absolute and Relative Deprivation and the Measurement of Poverty," Cahiers de recherche 0302, CIRPEE.
  2. Walter Bossert & Conchita D'Ambrosio & Vito Peragine, 2007. "Deprivation and Social Exclusion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 777-803, November.
  3. Chakravarty, S. R. & Chakraborty, A. B., 1984. "On indices of relative deprivation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(2-3), pages 283-287.
  4. Kakwani, Nanak, 1984. "The Relative Deprivation Curve and Its Applications," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 384-94, October.
  5. Frick, Joachim R. & Goebel, Jan & Schechtman, Edna & Wagner, Gert G. & Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 2004. "Using Analysis of Gini (ANoGi) for Detecting Whether Two Sub-Samples Represent the Same Universe: The SOEP Experience," IZA Discussion Papers 1049, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Kakwani, Nanak, 1984. "The Relative Deprivation Curve and Its Applications: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 400-405, October.
  7. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Changing Distribution of Job Satisfaction," NBER Working Papers 7332, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Weiss, Y. & Fershtman, C., 1997. "Social Status and Economic Performance: A Survey," Papers 19-97, Tel Aviv.
  9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1984. "The Relative Deprivation Curve and Its Applications," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 395-97, October.
  10. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1994. "Satisfaction and comparison income," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9408, CEPREMAP.
  11. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2004. "Subjective Outcomes in Economics," NBER Working Papers 10361, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jean-Yves Duclos, 2000. "Gini Indices and the Redistribution of Income," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 141-162, March.
  13. Yitzhaki, Shlomo, 1979. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 321-24, May.
  14. Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
  15. Schwarze, Johannes & Härpfer, Marco, 2003. "Are People Inequality Averse, and Do They Prefer Redistribution by the State? A Revised Version," IZA Discussion Papers 974, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Tsakloglou, Panos & Papadopoulos, Fotis, 2001. "Identifying Population Groups at High Risk of Social Exclusion: Evidence from the ECHP," IZA Discussion Papers 392, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  18. Hey, John D & Lambert, Peter J, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 567-73, November.
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