Reference Group Income and Subjective Well-Being: Empirical Evidence from Low-Income Transition Economies

Social Indicators Research, Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 30 May 2015

See all articles by Armenak Antinyan

Armenak Antinyan

Wenlan School of Business; United Nations Development Program

Date Written: May 29, 2015

Abstract

This paper aims at studying the connection between reference group income and life satisfaction in the three republics of the South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. I illustrate that in low-income transition economies individuals make not only upward comparisons, decreasing their subjective well-being if the reference group members are richer than they are, but also downward comparisons, enhancing their subjective well-being if the reference group members are poorer. This result contradicts Duesenberry’s idea that comparisons are mostly upward.

Keywords: Subjective Well-Being, Reference Group, Transition Economy, Upward Comparison, Downward Comparison

JEL Classification: D60, D63, I31, P30

Suggested Citation

Antinyan, Armenak, Reference Group Income and Subjective Well-Being: Empirical Evidence from Low-Income Transition Economies (May 29, 2015). Social Indicators Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2611932

Armenak Antinyan (Contact Author)

Wenlan School of Business ( email )

No.143, Wuluo Road
Wuhan, Hubei 430073
China

United Nations Development Program ( email )

Petros Adamyan 14
Yerevan, 0010
Armenia

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