Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Does risk matter for occupational choices? Experimental evidence from an African labour market

Contents:

Author Info

  • Paolo Falco

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of risk-aversion in the allocation of workers between formal and informal jobs in Ghana. In the model I propose risk-averse workers can opt between the free-entry informal sector and queuing for formal occupations. Conditional on identifying the riskier option, the model yields testable implications on the relationship between risk-preferences and workers’ allocation. My testing strategy proceeds in two steps. First, I estimate expected income uncertainty through panel data and find it significantly higher in the informal sector. Second, using novel experimental data to elicit individual attitudes to risk, I estimate the direct effect of risk-aversion on occupational choices and find that, in line with the first result, more risk-averse workers are more likely to queue for formal jobs and less likely to be in the informal sector. The results bear important implications for the optimal design of employment policies and social security.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2013-15.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2013-15.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2013-15

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ
Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
Fax: +44-(0)1865 281447
Email:
Web page: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: sector allocation; occupational choices; risk-aversion; informality;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  2. Fiess, Norbert M. & Fugazza, Marco & Maloney, William F., 2010. "Informal self-employment and macroeconomic fluctuations," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 211-226, March.
  3. Francis Teal & Justin Sandefur, 2010. "The Returns to Formality and Informality in Urban Africa," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-03, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Brunnermeier, Markus K., 2001. "Asset Pricing under Asymmetric Information: Bubbles, Crashes, Technical Analysis, and Herding," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296980, September.
  5. Brown, Sarah & Dietrich, Michael & Ortiz-Nuñez, Aurora & Taylor, Karl, 2011. "Self-employment and attitudes towards risk: Timing and unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 425-433, June.
  6. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20204, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Steffen Andersen & James C. Cox & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström & Vjollca Sadiraj, 2012. "Asset Integration and Attitudes to Risk: Theory and Evidence," Experimental Economics Center Working Paper Series 2012-12, Experimental Economics Center, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  8. Marcel Fafchamps & Simon Quinn & David McKenzie and Christopher Woodruff, 2010. "Using PDA consistency checks to increase the precision of profits and sales measurement in panels," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-19, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Fields, Gary S., 1975. "Rural-urban migration, urban unemployment and underemployment, and job-search activity in LDCs," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 165-187, June.
  10. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  11. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  12. Pannenberg, Markus, 2010. "Risk attitudes and reservation wages of unemployed workers: Evidence from panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 106(3), pages 223-226, March.
  13. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  14. Allan G. King, 1974. "Occupational choice, risk aversion, and wealth," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 27(4), pages 586-596, July.
  15. Leontaridi, Marianthi Rannia, 1998. " Segmented Labour Markets: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 63-101, February.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Haywood, Luke & Falco, Paolo, 2013. "Entrepreneurship versus Joblessness - Explaining the Rise in Self-Employment," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80016, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2013-15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Richard Payne).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.