Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact of Relative Income Position on Social Capital

U of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2006-04

STICERD, London School of Economics (LSE) Development Economics Discussion Paper No. DEDPS 46

51 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2006

See all articles by Justina A. V. Fischer

Justina A. V. Fischer

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); Stockholm School of Economics; University of Hohenheim

Benno Torgler

Yale University - Yale Center for International and Area Studies

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

Research evidence on the impact of relative income position on individual attitudes and behaviour is sorely lacking. Therefore, this paper assesses such positional impact on social capital by applying 14 different measurements to International Social Survey Programme data from 25 countries. We find support for a positional concern effect or envy whose magnitude in several cases is quite substantial. The results indicate that such an effect is non-linear. In addition, we find an indication that absolute income level is also relevant. Lastly, changing the reference group (regional versus national) produces no significant differences in the results.

Keywords: Relative income position, envy, positional concerns, social capital, social norm, happiness

JEL Classification: Z13, H26, I31, D00, D60

Suggested Citation

Fischer, Justina A.V. and Torgler, Benno, Does Envy Destroy Social Fundamentals? The Impact of Relative Income Position on Social Capital (March 2006). U of St. Gallen Economics Discussion Paper No. 2006-04; STICERD, London School of Economics (LSE) Development Economics Discussion Paper No. DEDPS 46 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=880089 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.880089

Justina A.V. Fischer (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

Stockholm School of Economics

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

University of Hohenheim

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

Benno Torgler

Yale University - Yale Center for International and Area Studies ( email )

P.O. Box 208206
New Haven, CT 06520-8206
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.crema-research.ch/fellowseiten/torgler.htm

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
108
Abstract Views
1,096
rank
168,173
PlumX Metrics