Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Potential Assignment For Next Year

I read this post over at Econlog which linked me to The Fly Bottle and a post on relative economic well being versus actual income level. Richard Layard uses African Americans in the post civil war south as an example:

Richard Layard points out that one's perceived position in the income distribution is a better predictor of self-reported well-being than one's absolute income level, given that a certain minimum income threshold has been reached. So, every time you move up in relative income, someone else moves down. This makes you happier, but makes everyone with a diminished relative position less happy, even though their absolute income has not changed, or may even have increased, but less than yours....Consider the Jim Crow American South, or apartheid South Africa. Suppose it was the case that any increase in income among blacks leads to a reduction in self-reported subjective well-being among whites, a reduction that totally swamps the utility gain to blacks.

I think I might pose this idea tomy classes next year and see what their views on it might be. Further, it would be worth seeing what primary source material they can find to either support or refute the contention


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Counter
Web Site Counter