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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

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 DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 45.

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Length: 39 p.
Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp45

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

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References

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2000. "Happiness, Economy and Institutions," CESifo Working Paper Series 246, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Clark, Andrew E. & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2005. "Job Security and Job Protection," IZA Discussion Papers 1489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Stutzer, Alois & Frey, Bruno S., 2006. "Does marriage make people happy, or do happy people get married?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 326-347, April.
  5. George J. Borjas, 1987. "Self-Selection and the Earnings of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 2248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  7. Stefan Boes & Rainer Winkelmann, 2004. "Income and Happiness: New Results from Generalized Threshold and Sequential Models," SOI - Working Papers 0407, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich.
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  16. 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.
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  21. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  22. Winkelmann, Liliana & Winkelmann, Rainer, 1998. "Why Are the Unemployed So Unhappy? Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(257), pages 1-15, February.
  23. 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. 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," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 106, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. 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).
  3. Simon Luechinger & Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Why Does Unemployment Hurt the Employed? Evidence from the Life Satisfaction Gap between the Public and the Private Sector," Working papers 2008/02, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
  4. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 3503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. Buurman, Margaretha & Dur, Robert & van den Bossche, Seth, 2009. "Public Sector Employees: Risk Averse and Altruistic?," IZA Discussion Papers 4401, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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