Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Occupational Choice: Personality Matters

Contents:

Author Info

  • Ham, Roger

    ()
    (University of Western Sydney)

  • Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja)

    ()
    (University of New South Wales)

  • Wells, Robert

    ()
    (University of Western Sydney)

Abstract

In modern societies, people are often classified as "White Collar" or "Blue Collar" workers: that classification not only informs social scientists about the kind of work that they do, but also about their social standing, their social interests, their family ties, and their approach to life in general. This analysis will examine the effect of an individual's psychometrically derived personality traits and status of their parents on the probability of attaining a white collar occupation over the baseline category of a blue collar occupation; controlling for human capital and other factors. The paper uses data from the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey to estimate a random effects probit model to capture the effects on the probability of being in a white collar occupation. The results are then examined using the average marginal effects of the different conditioning variables over the whole sample. The analysis confirms the previous findings of human capital theory, but finds that personality and parental status also have significant effects on occupational outcomes. The results suggest that the magnitude of the average marginal effect of parental status is small and the effect of the personality trait "conscientiousness" is large and rivals that of education. Finally, estimates of separate models for males and females indicate that effects differ between the genders for key variables, with personality traits in females having a relatively larger effect on their occupational outcomes due to the diminished effects of education.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp4105.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4105.

as in new window
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4105

Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org

Order Information:
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Email:

Related research

Keywords: occupational choice; personality; human capital; dynasty hysteresis;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Rosenbloom, Joshua L. & Ash, Ronald A. & Dupont, Brandon & Coder, LeAnne, 2008. "Why are there so few women in information technology? Assessing the role of personality in career choices," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 543-554, August.
  2. Botticini, Maristella & Eckstein, Zvi, 2005. "Jewish Occupational Selection: Education, Restrictions, or Minorities?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(04), pages 922-948, December.
  3. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C43-C60, 03.
  4. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
  5. Mahuteau, Stéphane & Junankar, Pramod N. (Raja), 2008. "Do Migrants Get Good Jobs in Australia? The Role of Ethnic Networks in Job Search," IZA Discussion Papers 3489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Amelie Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2004. "Occupational Choice across Generations," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 395, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  7. Borooah, Vani K & Mangan, John, 2002. "An Analysis of Occupational Outcomes for Indigenous and Asian Employees in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(240), pages 31-49, March.
  8. Park, Jin Heum, 1999. "Estimation of sheepskin effects using the old and the new measures of educational attainment in the Current Population Survey," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 237-240, February.
  9. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Working Papers 200827, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  10. Lancaster, Tony, 2000. "The incidental parameter problem since 1948," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 391-413, April.
  11. Borooah, Vani & Iyer, Sriya, 2005. "The Decomposition of Inter-Group Differences in a Logit Model: Extending the Oaxaca-Blinder Approach with an Application to School Enrolment in India," MPRA Paper 19418, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "Slavery and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 9227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  14. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2003. "Fifty Years of Mincer Earnings Regressions," NBER Working Papers 9732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Cawley, John & Heckman, James & Vytlacil, Edward, 2001. "Three observations on wages and measured cognitive ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 419-442, September.
  16. Caplan, Bryan, 2003. "Stigler-Becker versus Myers-Briggs: why preference-based explanations are scientifically meaningful and empirically important," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 391-405, April.
  17. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-44, January.
  18. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1981. "Qualitative Response Models: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 1483-1536, December.
  19. Borooah, Vani K, 2001. "How Do Employees of Ethnic Origin Fare on the Occupational Ladder in Britain?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-26, February.
  20. Sarmistha Pal & Jocelyn Kynch, 2000. "Determinants of occupational change and mobility in rural India," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(12), pages 1559-1573.
  21. Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 155-158, May.
  22. Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-38, CIRANO.
  23. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  24. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  25. P.N. (Raja) Junankar & Stephane Mahuteau, 2005. "Do Migrants Get Good Jobs? New Migrant Settlement in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages S34-S46, 08.
  26. Margaret Stevens, 2003. "Earnings Functions, Specific Human Capital, and Job Matching: Tenure Bias Is Negative," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 783-806, October.
  27. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  28. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
  29. Matthias Doepke & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2005. "Social Class and the Spirit of Capitalism," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 516-524, 04/05.
  30. Zafar Mueen Nasir, 2005. "An Analysis of Occupational Choice in Pakistan: A Multinomial Approach," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 44(1), pages 57-79.
  31. John Cawley & Karen Conneely & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1996. "Cognitive Ability, Wages, and Meritocracy," NBER Working Papers 5645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Mueller, Gerrit & Plug, Erik, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male-Female Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 1254, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  33. Ichiro Tsukahara, 2007. "The Effect of Family Background on Occupational Choice," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 21(4-5), pages 871-890, December.
  34. Kathryn L. Shaw, 1984. "A Formulation of the Earnings Function Using the Concept of Occupational Investment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 319-340.
  35. Massimiliano BRATTI & Luca MANCINI, 2003. "Differences in Early Occupational Earnings of UK Male Graduates by Degree Subject: Evidence from the 1980-1993 USR," Working Papers 189, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  36. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Boskin, Michael J, 1974. "A Conditional Logit Model of Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 389-98, Part I, M.
  38. Swope, Kurtis J. & Cadigan, John & Schmitt, Pamela M. & Shupp, Robert, 2008. "Personality preferences in laboratory economics experiments," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 998-1009, June.
  39. Tamás Bartus, 2005. "Estimation of marginal effects using margeff," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 5(3), pages 309-329, September.
  40. Orazem, Peter F & Mattila, J Peter, 1991. "Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Occupational and Educational Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 103-22, February.
  41. Schmidt, Peter & Strauss, Robert P, 1975. "The Prediction of Occupation Using Multiple Logit Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 16(2), pages 471-86, June.
  42. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
  43. Le, Anh T & Miller, Paul W, 2001. "Occupational Status: Why Do Some Workers Miss Out?," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(3), pages 352-72, September.
  44. Meng, Xin & Miller, Paul, 1995. "Occupational Segregation and Its Impact on Gender Wage Discrimination in China's Rural Industrial Sector," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 136-55, January.
  45. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
  46. Brandstatter, Hermann, 1997. "Becoming an entrepreneur -- A question of personality structure?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 157-177, April.
  47. Joe Darden, 2005. "Black occupational achievement in the toronto census metropolitan area: Does race matter?," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 31-54, December.
  48. David Bjerk, 2007. "The Differing Nature of Black-White Wage Inequality Across Occupational Sectors," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
  49. Tachibanaki, Toshiaki, 1980. "Education, occupation and earnings : A recursive approach for France," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 103-127, January.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Maite Bl�zquez & Santiago Budría, 2012. "Overeducation dynamics and personality," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 260-283, March.
  2. Castro Campos, Bente, 2013. "Human capital differences or labor market discrimination? The occupational outcomes of ethnic minorities in rural Guizhou (China)," Studies on the Agricultural and Food Sector in Central and Eastern Europe, Leib­niz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO), volume 73, number 73.
  3. Santi Budria & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2013. "Income Comparisons and Non-Cognitive Skills," Working Papers 733, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
  5. Henseke, Golo, 2011. "Retirement effects of heavy job demands," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 118, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
  6. Santi Budria & Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell, 2012. "Income Comparisons and Non-cognitive Skills," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 441, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Carla Calero & Veronica Gonzales & Yuri Soares & Jochen Kluve & Carlos Henrique Corseuilt, 2014. "Can Arts-Based Interventions Enhance Labor Market Outcomes among Youth? Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rio de Janeiro," Ruhr Economic Papers 0486, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  8. A Aggarwal & R Freguglia & G Johnes & G Spricigo, 2011. "Education and labour market outcomes : evidence from India," Working Papers 615663, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  9. Budría, Santiago & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2012. "Income Comparisons and Non-Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 6419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4105. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.