Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings

Schneider S, Valet P (2013) SFB 882 Working Paper Series; 22.
Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.

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Abstract
Recently, research on social comparison orientations (SCOs) has shown remarkable inter-individual variation in people’s tendency to compare themselves with others. Whether this variation bears any consequences for social justice research that assumes social comparisons to be a valuable asset in forming images of just earnings is still an unsolved question. This paper takes up this research challenge and investigates whether the formation of justice attitudes is moderated by inter-individual differences in SCOs. It asks whether people who tend to compare their abilities with others react more strongly towards others’ earnings when they evaluate the justice of own earnings. The analyses are based on data from the 2010 and 2011 pretest modules of the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). SCOs are measured by the short scale of the Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure (INCOM). The results are in line with theories on distributive justice showing that individuals who earn less than the average of the respective occupational status group are more likely to perceive their earnings as unjust; while respondents who earn more or equally well tend to perceive their earnings as just. This effect is remarkably stronger for people with high SCOs compared to those with low SCOs. Implications for research on social justice are discussed.
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Schneider S, Valet P. Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings. SFB 882 Working Paper Series. Vol 22. Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities; 2013.
Schneider, S., & Valet, P. (2013). Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings (SFB 882 Working Paper Series, 22). Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.
Schneider, S., and Valet, P. (2013). Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings. SFB 882 Working Paper Series, 22, Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.
Schneider, S., & Valet, P., 2013. Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings, SFB 882 Working Paper Series, no.22, Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities.
S. Schneider and P. Valet, Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings, SFB 882 Working Paper Series, vol. 22, Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities, 2013.
Schneider, S., Valet, P.: Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings. SFB 882 Working Paper Series, 22. DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities, Bielefeld (2013).
Schneider, Simone, and Valet, Peter. Social Comparison Orientations and their Consequences for Justice Perceptions of Earnings. Bielefeld: DFG Research Center (SFB) 882 From Heterogeneities to Inequalities, 2013. SFB 882 Working Paper Series. 22.
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