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Does envy destroy social fundamentals? The impact of relative income position on social capital

Fischer, Justina A. V. and Torgler, Benno (2006) Does envy destroy social fundamentals? The impact of relative income position on social capital. DEDPS, 46. Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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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.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk
Additional Information: © 2006 Justina A. V. Fischer and Benno Torgler
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I3 - Welfare and Poverty > I31 - General Welfare; Basic Needs; Living Standards; Quality of Life; Happiness
H - Public Economics > H2 - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue > H26 - Tax Evasion
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z13 - Social Norms and Social Capital; Social Networks
D - Microeconomics > D0 - General > D00 - General
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D60 - General
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 46
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2008 16:49
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6640/

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