The Social Status-Enhancing Power of Social Ties
36 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 15, 2017
This paper shows that social variables capturing individuals’ sociability as well as strength of their social ties play an important role in affecting where individuals locate themselves in the social ladder, also when their objective location within society is taken into account. Using data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS) covering the period 2006-2012, we assess individuals’ social ties and sociability through the number and quality of their friendships as well as a set of variables capturing their attitude towards others (loneliness, cynical hostility, social cohesion, discrimination and reciprocity). We find subjective social status to correlate positively with reciprocity and negatively with discrimination. Next, individuals that are more satisfied with their life seem disconnected from objective elements when subjectively evaluating their social status.
Keywords: Subjective social status, Objectively measured social status, Sociability, Social ties
JEL Classification: I31; Z13
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