Do You Envy Others Competitively or Destructively? An Experimental and Survey Investigation

20 Pages Posted: 17 Sep 2006

See all articles by Gilles Grolleau

Gilles Grolleau

Montpellier SupAgro and Researcher at LAMETA

Naoufel Mzoughi

INRA Ecodéveloppement

Angela Sutan

Burgundy School of Business - CEREN, ESC Dijon

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

Envy is evident when an agent undertakes a costly effort to reduce the gap between his situation and the envied others' situation. This attempt can take two paths. An agent characterized by competitive or white envy is willing to incur a cost in order to keep up with the Joneses' situation. An agent characterized by destructive or black envy is willing to incur a cost in order to push the others downwards. Using experiments and survey data, we show (1) that people exhibit competitive and destructive forms of envy and (2) that the dominant form of envy varies across domains. A major implication is that underdevelopment may be partly due to destructive envy.

Keywords: destructive/competitive envy, experimental economics

JEL Classification: D6, H0, J0

Suggested Citation

Grolleau, Gilles and Mzoughi, Naoufel and Sutan, Angela, Do You Envy Others Competitively or Destructively? An Experimental and Survey Investigation (July 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=930103 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.930103

Gilles Grolleau

Montpellier SupAgro and Researcher at LAMETA ( email )

France

Naoufel Mzoughi

INRA Ecodéveloppement ( email )

Domaine Saint-Paul - Site Agroparc
Avignon cedex 9, 84914
France

Angela Sutan (Contact Author)

Burgundy School of Business - CEREN, ESC Dijon ( email )

29 rue Sambin
Dijon, 21006
France

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