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Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?

Sabatini, Fabio and Sarracino, Francesco (2015): Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?

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Abstract

Online social networks such as Facebook disclose an unprecedented volume of personal information amplifying the occasions for social comparisons. We test the hypothesis that the use of social networking sites (SNS) increases people’s dissatisfaction with their income. After addressing endogeneity issues, our results suggest that SNS users have a higher probability to compare their achievements with those of others. This effect seems stronger than the one exerted by TV watching, it is particularly strong for younger people, and it affects men and women in a similar way.

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