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A Note on Inequality Aversion Across Countries, Using Two New Measures

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  • Macunovich, Diane J.

    () (University of Redlands)

Abstract

Studies using the Gini Index as a measure of income inequality have consistently found a positive and significant effect of the Gini on both happiness and life satisfaction. Two new measures used here – the ratio of persons in the lowest income decile relative to the number in the highest, and the ratio of the number in the lowest social class relative to the number in the highest, in a given country – as developed from the World Values Survey data, are shown here to have a negative and significant effect on both happiness and life satisfaction. This effect holds overall across countries, and for individuals within most income and class categories.

Suggested Citation

  • Macunovich, Diane J., 2011. "A Note on Inequality Aversion Across Countries, Using Two New Measures," IZA Discussion Papers 5734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5734
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Conchita D’Ambrosio & Joachim Frick, 2007. "Income Satisfaction and Relative Deprivation: An Empirical Link," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 81(3), pages 497-519, May.
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    3. Ed Hopkins, 2008. "Inequality, happiness and relative concerns: What actually is their relationship?," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 6(4), pages 351-372, December.
    4. Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002.
    5. Carol Graham & Andrew Felton, 2006. "Inequality and happiness: Insights from Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 4(1), pages 107-122, April.
    6. Hilke Brockmann & Jan Delhey & Christian Welzel & Hao Yuan, 2009. "The China Puzzle: Falling Happiness in a Rising Economy," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 387-405, August.
    7. Udo Ebert & Heinz Welsch, 2009. "How Do Europeans Evaluate Income Distributions? An Assessment Based On Happiness Surveys," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 803-819, September.
    8. Russell Smyth & Xiaolei Qian, 2008. "Inequality and Happiness in Urban China," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 4(24), pages 1-10.
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    11. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:4:y:2008:i:24:p:1-10 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew E. Clark & Conchita D'Ambrosio, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," Working Papers halshs-00967938, HAL.
    2. Ozan Eksi & Neslihan Kaya, 2017. "Life Satisfaction and Keeping Up with Other Countries," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 199-228, February.
    3. Clark, Andrew E. & D'Ambrosio, Conchita, 2014. "Attitudes to Income Inequality: Experimental and Survey Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 8136, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Krzysztof Zagorski & Mariah Evans & Jonathan Kelley & Katarzyna Piotrowska, 2014. "Does National Income Inequality Affect Individuals’ Quality of Life in Europe? Inequality, Happiness, Finances, and Health," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 1089-1110, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; happiness; life satisfaction;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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