IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Relative income, network interactions and social stigma


  • Chen, Xi
  • Zhang, Xiaobo


Blood donation with compensation is considered as a social stigma. However, more people in the reference group donate blood often leads to less moral concern and more followers. Therefore, the behavior is likely to be influenced through one's interactions with neighbors, friends and relatives. Meanwhile, relative income may affect the motives for blood donation through increasing mistrust and stress. The motives might be stronger for households of lower social rankings. Utilizing three-wave census-type panel data in 18 villages in rural western China, two identification strategies, instrumental variable and network-based identification, are implemented to estimate the effect of social interactions. Both community-specific and household-specific relative income measures are employed to test whether blood donation is more sensitive towards the less well-off in a society. We find strong evidence in support of the effects of social interactions, no matter whether instrumental variables or network centrality measures are adopted. Household-specific measures of relative income show more salient effects on blood donation than community-specific inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Xi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2010. "Relative income, network interactions and social stigma," IAMO Forum 2010: Institutions in Transition – Challenges for New Modes of Governance 52702, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iamo10:52702

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fafchamps, Marcel & Shilpi, Forhad, 2008. "Subjective welfare, isolation, and relative consumption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 43-60, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    4. Brown, Philip H. & Bulte, Erwin & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2011. "Positional spending and status seeking in rural China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 139-149, September.
    5. de Brauw, Alan & Rozelle, Scott, 2008. "Migration and household investment in rural China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 320-335, June.
    6. Wildman, John, 2003. "Income related inequalities in mental health in Great Britain: analysing the causes of health inequality over time," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 295-312, March.
    7. Ulf-G. Gerdtham & Magnus Johannesson, 2004. "Absolute Income, Relative Income, Income Inequality, and Mortality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    8. Wildman, John, 2003. "Modelling health, income and income inequality: the impact of income inequality on health and health inequality," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 521-538, July.
    9. Marleen Dekker & Hans Hoogeveen, 2002. "Bride Wealth and Household Security in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 11(1), pages 114-145, March.
    10. Siwan Anderson, 2007. "The Economics of Dowry and Brideprice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 151-174, Fall.
    11. Shlomo Yitzhaki, 1980. "Relative Deprivation and the Gini Coefficient: Reply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(3), pages 575-576.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Blood Donation; Social Interactions; Inequality; Relative Income; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:iamo10:52702. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.