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Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?

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  • Sabatini, Fabio
  • Sarracino, Francesco

Abstract

Online social networks, such as Facebook, amplify the occasions for social comparisons which are detrimental to well-being. The authors test the hypothesis that the use of social networking sites (SNS) increases social comparisons using Italian data from the Multipurpose Household Survey, and European data from Eurobarometer. The results suggest that SNS users have a higher probability to compare their achievements with those of others. This evidence is robust to endogeneity concerns. The authors conclude that, by increasing the opportunities for social comparisons, SNS can be an engine of income dissatisfaction for their users.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabatini, Fabio & Sarracino, Francesco, 2018. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Economics Discussion Papers 2018-43, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201843
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-03-01 18:14:30

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Angelo Antoci & Fabio Sabatini, 2018. "Online networks, social interaction and segregation: an evolutionary approach," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 859-883, September.
    2. Antoci, Angelo & Bonelli, Laura & Paglieri, Fabio & Reggiani, Tommaso & Sabatini, Fabio, 2019. "Civility and trust in social media," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 160(C), pages 83-99.
    3. Roy Cerqueti & Fabio Sabatini & Marco Ventura, 2019. "Civic capital and support for the welfare state," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 53(2), pages 313-336, August.
    4. McDool, Emily & Powell, Philip & Roberts, Jennifer & Taylor, Karl, 2020. "The internet and children’s psychological wellbeing," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    5. McDool, Emily & Powell, Philip & Roberts, Jennifer & Taylor, Karl, 2016. "Social Media Use and Children's Wellbeing," IZA Discussion Papers 10412, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Castellacci, Fulvio & Tveito, Vegard, 2018. "Internet use and well-being: A survey and a theoretical framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 308-325.
    7. Angelo Antoci & Alexia Delfino & Fabio Paglieri & Fabio Sabatini, 2016. "The ecology of social interactions in online and offline environments," Papers 1601.07776, arXiv.org.
    8. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2017. "Online Networks and Subjective Well-Being," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 456-480, August.
    9. Fulvio Castellacci & Henrik Schwabe, 2018. "Internet Use and the U-shaped relationship between Age and Well-being," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20180215, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    social networks; social networking sites; social comparisons; satisfaction with income; relative deprivation;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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