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ERIC Number: EJ934574
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 57
ISSN: ISSN-0303-8300
Education as a Positional Good: A Life Satisfaction Approach
Salinas-Jimenez, Ma. del Mar; Artes, Joaquin; Salinas-Jimenez, Javier
Social Indicators Research, v103 n3 p409-426 Sep 2011
In this paper we empirically investigate the direct effects of education on utility. Besides investment aspects of education, the focus is placed on its consumption component and on education positional concerns. We use data from the World Values Survey (WVS) and adopt a life satisfaction approach. First, we find that education shows a significant effect on life satisfaction independent of its effect on income, thus identifying a consumption component of education. Furthermore, given that the contribution of education to individual wellbeing might depend partly on relative position rather than absolute levels, we next study whether education can be considered as a positional good. To this end we analyse the relationship between education and life satisfaction for people in different income groups in which the reference levels of education may differ. Additionally, we control for occupational status since benefits from education could appear via occupational benefits. Our results indicate that the contribution of education to subjective wellbeing is stronger as less people attain a given level of education, thus suggesting that this contribution is partly due to positional concerns.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A