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The Happiness Gains From Sorting and Matching in the Labor Market

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  • Simon Luechinger
  • Alois Stutzer

    ()

  • Rainer Winkelmann

    (University of Basel)

Abstract

Sorting of people on the labor market not only assures the most productive use of valuable skills but also generates individual utility gains if people experience an optimal match between job characteristics and their preferences. Based on individual data on subjective well-being it is possible to assess these latter gains from matching. We introduce a two-equation ordered probit model with endogenous switching and study self-selection into government and private sector jobs. In an analysis with data from the European Social Survey, we find considerable gains from matching amounting to an increase in the fraction of very satisfied workers from 53.8 to 58.8 percent relative to a hypothetical random allocation of workers to the two sectors. A companion analysis of data from the German Socio-Economic Panel shows that selection on unobservables is reduced once we include additional controls for preference heterogeneity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2007/01.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2007/01

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Related research

Keywords: Matching; ordered probit; public sector employment; selection; switching regression; subjective well-being;

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References

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  1. Alan B. Krueger, 1988. "The Determinants of Queues for Federal Jobs," NBER Working Papers 2499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Clark, Andrew E & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2005. "Job Security and Job Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 4927, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Di Tella, R. & MacCulloch, R.J.: Oswald, A.J., 1997. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," Papers 19, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  4. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
  5. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2003. "Competition and incentives with motivated agents," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2202, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
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  9. Boes, Stefan & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2004. "Income and Happiness: New Results from Generalized Threshold and Sequential Models," IZA Discussion Papers 1175, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  15. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Valuing Public Goods: The Life Satisfaction Approach," CREMA Working Paper Series 2004-11, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  16. Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
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  22. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker sorting and job satisfaction: The case of union and government jobs," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
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Blog mentions

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  1. Living with a weak economy
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2011-11-17 15:02:19
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Cited by:
  1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Buurman, Margaretha & Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Van den Bossche, Seth, 2012. "Public sector employees: Risk averse and altruistic?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 279-291.
  3. Luechinger, Simon & Meier, Stephan & Stutzer, Alois, 2008. "Why Does Unemployment Hurt the Employed? Evidence from the Life Satisfaction Gap between the Public and the Private Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 3385, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 3503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Simon Luechinger & Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Why does unemployment hurt the employed?: evidence from the life satisfaction gap between the public and private sectors," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  6. Cahit Guven & Bent Sørensen, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being: Keeping Up with the Perception of the Joneses," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 439-469, December.
  7. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "A Note on Risk Aversion and Labour Market Outcomes: Further Evidence from German Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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