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Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages

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  • Pannenberg, Markus

    ()
    (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences)

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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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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2806.

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    Length: 21 pages
    Date of creation: May 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2806

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    Keywords: survey data; reservation wages; risk aversion;

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    References

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    1. 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).
    2. Paul Frijters & Bas van der Klaau, 2003. "Job Search with Nonparticipation," Paul Frijters Discussion Papers 2003-3, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    3. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst & Zehnder, Christian, 2005. "The Behavioural Effects of Minimum Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 5115, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Bloemen, H.G. & Stancanelli, E.G.F., 1997. "Individual Wealth, Reservation Wages and Transitions into Employment," Discussion Paper 1997-02, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    5. Martin Feldstein & James M. Poterba, 1984. "Unemployment Insurance and Reservation Wages," NBER Working Papers 1011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Addison, John T. & Centeno, Mario & Portugal, Pedro, 2008. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3357, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2003. "Empirical Labor Search: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 929, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-76, November.
    9. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1989. " Laboratory Experiments with a Finite-Horizon Job-Search Model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 301-29, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2002. "Inverse probability weighted M-estimators for sample selection, attrition and stratification," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    12. Patrick Royston, 2005. "Multiple imputation of missing values: Update of ice," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(4), pages 527-536, December.
    13. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1992. "Direct Tests of the Reservation Wage Property," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1423-32, November.
    14. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1999. "Asymptotic Properties of Weighted M-Estimators for Variable Probability Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1385-1406, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dubois, Pierre & Vukina, Tomislav, 2008. "Optimal Incentives under Moral Hazard and Heterogeneous Agents: Evidence from Production Contracts Data," IDEI Working Papers 393, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    2. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 85-99, 02.
    3. 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).

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