The Importance of Being an Optimist: Evidence from Labor Markets
AbstractDispositional optimism is a personality trait associated with individuals who believe, either rightly or wrongly, that in general good things tend to happen to them more often than bad things. Using a novel longitudinal data set that tracks the job search performance of MBA students, we show that dispositional optimists experience significantly better job search outcomes than pessimists with similar skills. During the job search process, they spend less effort searching and are offered jobs more quickly. They are choosier and are more likely to be promoted than others. Although we find optimists are more charismatic and are perceived by others to be more likely to succeed, these factors alone do not explain away the findings. Most of the effect of optimism on economic outcomes stems from the part that is not readily observed by one's peers.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16328.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Note: CF PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions
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.:
- Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003.
"Managing With Style: The Effect Of Managers On Firm Policies,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208, November.
- Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- 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.
- James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
- Puri, Manju & Robinson, David T., 2007.
"Optimism and economic choice,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 71-99, October.
- John R. Graham & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2011. "Managerial Attributes and Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 17368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Augustin Landier & David Thesmar, 2009. "Financial Contracting with Optimistic Entrepreneurs," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 117-150, January.
- Kuhnen, Camelia M., 2010. "Searching for Jobs: Evidence from MBA Graduates," MPRA Paper 21975, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Kuhnen, Camelia M. & Oyer, Paul, 2012. "Exploration for human capital: Theory and evidence from the MBA labor market," MPRA Paper 39411, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.