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Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages

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  • Markus Pannenberg
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    Abstract

    This study examines the relationship between individual risk aversion and reservation wages using a novel set of direct measures of individual risk attitudes from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). We find that risk aversion has a significantly negative impact on the level of reservation wages. Moreover, we show that the elasticity of the reservation wage with respect to unemployment benefits is remarkably lower for risk-averse job seekers than for risk-loving job seekers. The results are consistent with an interpretation that risk-averse job seekers set their reservation wage levels sufficiently low, so that they accept almost every job offer.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.57395.de/diw_sp0023.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 23.

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    Length: 19 + Anh. p.
    Date of creation: 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp23

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    Related research

    Keywords: Risk Aversion; Reservation Wages; Survey Data;

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    References

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    1. John T. Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2008. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," Working Papers w200803, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    2. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Bloemen, Hans G & Stancanelli, Elena G F, 2001. "Individual Wealth, Reservation Wages, and Transitions into Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 400-439, April.
    4. van den Bergh, Gerhard & van deer Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counseling and monitoring of unemployed workers: theory and evidence from a controlled social experiment," Working Paper Series 2001:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    5. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:40:i:1:p:45-64 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1730, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2004. "Empirical Labour Search: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 4199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1999. "Asymptotic Properties of Weighted M-Estimators for Variable Probability Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1385-1406, November.
    9. Prasad, Eswar, 2003. "What Determines the Reservation Wages of Unemployed Workers? New Evidence from German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 694, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Jones, Stephen R G, 1988. "The Relationship between Unemployment Spells and Reservation Wages as a Test of Search Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 741-65, November.
    12. Armin Falk & Ernst Fehr & Christian Zehnder, . "The Behavioral Effects of Minimum Wages," IEW - Working Papers 247, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    13. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. 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).
    2. Dubois, Pierre & Vukina, Tomislav, 2005. "Optimal Incentives Under Moral Hazard and Heterogeneous Agents: Evidence from Production Contracts Data," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24645, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 85-99, 02.

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