Why Do We Care About Having More than Others? Socioeconomic Determinants of Positional Concerns in Different Domains

Birdal M., Ongan T. H.

SOCIAL INDICATORS RESEARCH, vol.126, no.2, pp.727-738, 2016 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 126 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11205-015-0914-9
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.727-738
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


This paper uses survey data to provide empirical evidence regarding the importance of positional concerns in different domains and their determinants. In the survey, respondents are asked to choose between a world in which they have more of a good than others and a world in which their endowment along with everyone else is greatly improved, but they have less than others. Our results lend support to the claim that positional concerns play a crucial role in the decision-making process of individuals, though they appear to be more influential in some domains than others. Moreover, empirical results point out relationships between the age, gender, education, and income level of the respondents and their positional concerns in different domains.