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Antecedents of Attitudes Towards Risky Career Choices

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  • Verena Jung
  • Sascha L. Schmidt
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

We explore the attitude towards risky career choices of young people in highly competitive environments. We empirically test which factors influence young elite athletes' tendency towards choosing a high-risk career option over a lower risk one; looking at the attitudes, of close to 1000 soccer players in the German "Bundesliga" professional clubs' Youth Academies, towards making real-life decisions. Generally, they face the decision early on as to whether or not they should risk quitting school to solely focus on a professional soccer career. Our study confirms that elements of expected utility, assessment of the likelihood of achievement of the aspired career as well as the potential benefit derived from this decision, explain risk-taking in competitive environments. The longer an individual survives the continuous selection process in the competitive environment, the more he thinks that he will eventually succeed - despite the increasing opportunity costs of quitting a low-risk alternative career. Initial success in the selection processes is a key trigger for the tendency to choose a career in winner-take-all markets.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2012-20.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2012-20

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Keywords: Career choices; Risk attitude; Risk perception; Professional athletes; Young athletes; Opportunity cost; integration;

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  1. Asena Caner & Cagla Okten, 2008. "Risk and Career Choice: Evidence from Turkey," Working Papers, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics 0803, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Economics.
  2. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
  3. Alex Krumer & Tal Shavit & Mosi Rosenboim, 2011. "Why do professional athletes have different time preferences than non-athletes?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(6), pages 542-551, August.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  5. Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "The Economics of Real Superstars: The Market for Rock Concerts in the Material World," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-30, January.
  6. Frey, Bruno S., 1988. "Ipsative and objective limits to human behavior," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 229-248.
  7. Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
  8. Daniel Müller & Benno Torgler & Eric M. Uslaner, 2012. "A Comment on “Inherited Trust and Growth”," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(2), pages 1481-1488.
  9. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
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