How much status does money bring you?

“To double your social status, you need to earn about 2.6 times as much”.

Via William Poundstone’s Priceless: the Myth of Fair Value and How to Take Advantage of It:

To double your social status, you need to earn about 2.6 times as much, according to one study by Stevens.


Stevens lived long enough to see a number of careful studies measuring the subjective impact of money. In 1959 the Japanese psychophysicist Tarow Indow showed pictures and descriptions of wristwatches to a group of 127 college students. He had them rate the desirability of each watch, then name a fair price for it in yen. The students believed that in order to get a watch twice as desirable, it was necessary to pay about 8.7 times as much.


The seriousness of thefts rose the slowest with dollar value. A thief would need to steal 60 times as much to double the seriousness of the crime. At first this may sound odd. But most would agree that stealing anything is wrong; the amount stolen is a secondary consideration. Hence, according to the power curve of thievery, stealing $6,000 is only twice as bad as stealing $100.

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