The Joneses in Japan: Income Comparisons and Financial Satisfaction

30 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2013

See all articles by Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark

Paris School of Economics (PSE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Claudia Senik

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Katsunori Yamada

Kindai University, Faculty of Economics; Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research

Date Written: March 14, 2013

Abstract

This paper uses Japanese data which includes measures of self-declared satisfaction, reference-group income, and the direction and intensity of income comparisons. Relative to Europeans, the Japanese compare more to friends and less to colleagues, and compare their incomes more. The relationship between satisfaction and others' income is negative, and more negative for those who report greater income comparison intensity. A self-reported measure of others' income does better than cell-mean income in explaining satisfaction, and would arguably make a useful addition to many existing surveys.

Keywords: Income Comparisons, Reference-Group Income, Reference Groups, Satisfaction

JEL Classification: C91, E12, E24

Suggested Citation

Clark, Andrew Eric and Senik, Claudia and Yamada, Katsunori, The Joneses in Japan: Income Comparisons and Financial Satisfaction (March 14, 2013). ISER Discussion Paper No. 866, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2233223 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2233223

Andrew Eric Clark (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Claudia Senik

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Katsunori Yamada

Kindai University, Faculty of Economics ( email )

Higashi-Osaka City, Osaka 577-8502
Japan

HOME PAGE: http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~kyamada/

Osaka University - Institute of Social and Economic Research ( email )

6-1, Mihogaoka
Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0047
Japan

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