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Sorting in the Labor Market: Do Gregarious Workers Flock to Interactive Jobs?

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  • Alan B. Krueger
  • David Schkade

Abstract

This paper tests a central implication of the theory of equalizing differences, that workers sort into jobs with different attributes based on their preferences for those attributes. We present evidence from four new time-use data sets for the United States and France on whether workers who are more gregarious, as revealed by their behavior when they are not working, tend to be employed in jobs that involve more social interactions. In each data set we find a significant and sizable relationship between the tendency to interact with others off the job and while working. People's descriptions of their jobs and their personalities also accord reasonably well with their time use on and off the job. Furthermore, workers in occupations that require social interactions according to the O'Net Dictionary of Occupational Titles tend to spend more of their non-working time with friends. Lastly, we find that workers report substantially higher levels of job satisfaction and net affect while at work if their jobs entail frequent interactions with coworkers and other desirable working conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13032.

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Date of creation: Apr 2007
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Publication status: published as Alan B. Krueger Author Name: David Schkade, 2008. "Sorting in the Labor Market: Do Gregarious Workers Flock to Interactive Jobs?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13032

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  1. Saffer, Henry, 2008. "The demand for social interaction," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1047-1060, June.
  2. John F. Heliwell & Haifang Huang, 2005. "How's the Job? Well-Being and Social Capital in the Workplace," NBER Working Papers 11759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Krueger, Alan B. & Schkade, David A., 2008. "The reliability of subjective well-being measures," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(8-9), pages 1833-1845, August.
  4. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1990. "Shirking or Productive Schmoozing: Wages and the Allocation of Time at Work," NBER Working Papers 2800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Borghans, Lex & ter Weel, Bas & Weinberg, Bruce A., 2005. "People People: Social Capital and the Labor-Market Outcomes of Underrepresented Groups," IZA Discussion Papers 1494, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
  8. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  9. W. Kip Viscusi & Joni Hersch, 2001. "Cigarette Smokers As Job Risk Takers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 269-280, May.
  10. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
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Cited by:
  1. Robert Dur & Joeri Sol, 2008. "Social Interaction, Co-Worker Altruism, and Incentives," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-094/1, Tinbergen Institute, revised 03 Aug 2009.
  2. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Les Modes de Rémunération comme Mécanismes Sélectifs de la Main d’oeuvre : Fondements Théoriques et Estimations Empiriques," Working Papers 0818, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  3. Joseph Sabia & Daniel Rees, 2012. "Does the number of sex partners affect educational attainment? Evidence from female respondents to the Add Health," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 89-118, January.
  4. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2261-78, December.
  5. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2009. "Noncognitive Skills, Occupational Attainment, and Relative Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 4289, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Dupuy, Arnaud & Smits, Wendy, 2009. "How Large Is the Compensating Wage Differential for R&D Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 4194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2013. "Do psychosocial traits help explain gender segregation in young people's occupations?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 59-73.
  8. Shelly Lundberg, 2011. "Psychology and Family Economics," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(s1), pages 66-81, 05.
  9. repec:dgr:uvatin:2008094 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Nils Braakmann, 2013. "What Determines Wage Inequality Among Young German University Graduates?," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 233(2), pages 130-158, March.
  11. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Pablo Ruiz-Palomino & Francisco Sáez-Martínez & Ricardo Martínez-Cañas, 2013. "Understanding Pay Satisfaction: Effects of Supervisor Ethical Leadership on Job Motivating Potential Influence," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 31-43, November.
  13. Ozkan Eren & I. Serkan Ozbeklik, 2010. "Leadership Skills and Wages Revisited: Is There a Causal Relation?," Working Papers 1002, University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics.
  14. Friedhelm Pfeiffer & Nico Schulz, 2012. "Gregariousness, interactive jobs and wages," Journal of Labour Market Research, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 147-159, July.

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