Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/149609
Authors: 
Stark, Oded
Zawojska, Ewa
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
ZEF-Discussion Papers on Development Policy 224
Abstract: 
We study a policy response to an increase in post-merger social stress. If a merger of groups of people is viewed as a revision of their social space, then the merger alters people's comparators and increases social stress: the social stress of a merged population is greater than the sum of the levels of social stress of the constituent populations when apart. We use social stress as a proxy measure for looming social protest. As a response to the post-merger increase in social stress, we consider a policy aimed at reversing the negative effect of the merger by bringing the social stress of the merged population back to the sum of the pre-merger levels of social stress of the constituent populations when apart. We present, in the form of an algorithm, a cost-effective policy response which is publicly financed and does not reduce the incomes of the members of the merged population. We then compare the financial cost of implementing such a policy when the merger involves more or fewer groups. We show that the cost may fall as the number of merging groups rises.
Subjects: 
merger of populations
revision of social space
aggregate relative deprivation
social stress
a cost-effective policy response
JEL: 
D04
D63
F55
H53
P51
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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