Skill Uncertainty and Social Inference
AbstractResearch in psychology indicates that individuals often make inferences regarding unknown individual qualities based on potentially irrelevant (but socially observable) information. This paper explores occupational choices when individuals receive imprecise signals regarding ability and use the observable characteristics of previously successful individuals to infer own ability. Individuals who fail to observe successful predecessors of their same type may underestimate their potential for success in the occupation. We discuss the role of these biases in light of the literature on affirmative action and firm incentives.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2567.
Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2008, 15 (3), 422-427
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Other versions of this item:
- D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
- J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-02-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2007-02-17 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-SOC-2007-02-17 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
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.:
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