IEW Working Paper No. 369
34 Pages Posted: 5 May 2008
Date Written: April 2008
The experimental literature and studies using survey data have established that people care a great deal about their relative economic position and not solely, as standard economic theory assumes, about their absolute economic position. Individuals are concerned about social comparisons. However, behavioral evidence in the field is rare. This paper provides an empirical analysis testing the model of inequity aversion using two unique panel data sets for basketball and soccer players. We find support that the concept of inequity aversion helps to understand how the relative income situation affects performance in a real competitive environment with real tasks and real incentives.
Keywords: inequity aversion, relative income, positional concerns, envy, social comparison, performance, interdependent preferences
JEL Classification: D000, D600, 8222, 9210, L830
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Torgler, Benno and Schaffner, Markus and Frey, Bruno S. and Schmidt, Sascha L., Looking Awkward when Winning and Foolish when Losing: Inequity Aversion and Performance in the Field (April 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128066 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1128066