An Economic Analysis of Identity and Career Choice
AbstractStandard economic models which focus on pecuniary payoffs cannot explain why there are highly able individuals who choose careers with low pecuniary returns. Therefore, financial incentives are unlikely to be effective in influencing career choices of these individuals. Based on Akerlof and Kranton (2000), we consider a model of career choice and identity where individuals derive non-pecuniary identity payoffs. Using factor analysis on a range of attitude questions, we find two factors related to identity (career orientation and social orientation), which are important for educational choices. The implication is that policymakers and institutions of higher education need to focus on identity related issues rather than just improved financial incentives if they aim at attracting the high ability youth to occupations with excess demand for labor.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3120.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Inquiry, 2012, 50 (1), 39-61
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Other versions of this item:
- Maria K. Humlum & Kristin J. Kleinjans & Helena S. Nielsen, 2012. "An Economic Analysis Of Identity And Career Choice," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 50(1), pages 39-61, 01.
- Maria Knoth Humlum & Kristin J. Kleinjans & Helena Skyt Nielsen, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Identity and Career Choice," Economics Working Papers 2007-14, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-11-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2007-11-24 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2007-11-24 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
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