Well-Being Inequality and Reference Groups - An Agenda for New Research

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 10-015/3

32 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2010

See all articles by B.M.S. van Praag

B.M.S. van Praag

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Date Written: March 3, 2010

Abstract

It is argued that the concept of well-being inequality cannot be properly defined without taking the reference process into account. The reference effect depends on how frequently individuals compare with others and on the degree of social transparency in society. In this paper we employ the reference-extended model for incorporating the concept of happiness inequality in happiness studies. We plead for an extension of the present happiness paradigm by setting up a new additional agenda for empirical research in order to get quantified knowledge about the referencing process.

Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness, inequality, reference group

JEL Classification: D31, D62, D63, I31

Suggested Citation

van Praag, Bernard, Well-Being Inequality and Reference Groups - An Agenda for New Research (March 3, 2010). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 10-015/3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1677895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1677895

Bernard Van Praag (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Tinbergen Institute in Amsterdam

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Amsterdam, 1082 MS
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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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