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

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  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University and NBER)

  • David A. Schkade

    (University of California, San Diego)

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 Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 63.

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Date of creation: Feb 2007
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:139krueger

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  1. Richard B. Freeman, 1977. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," NBER Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Brown, Charles, 1980. "Equalizing Differences in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 113-34, February.
  3. Alan B. Krueger & David A. Schkade, 2007. "The Reliability of Subjective Well-Being Measures," NBER Working Papers 13027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
  5. 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).
  6. Scott Stern, 2004. "Do Scientists Pay to Be Scientists?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 835-853, June.
  7. Henry Saffer, 2005. "The Demand for Social Interaction," NBER Working Papers 11881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang, 2010. "How’s the Job? Well-Being and Social Capital in the Workplace," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 63(2), pages 205-227, January.
  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. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1990. "Shirking or productive schmoozing: Wages and the allocation of time at work," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 121-133, February.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:ese:iserwp:2009-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Sabrina Teyssier, 2008. "Les Modes de Rémunération comme MécanismesSélectifs de la Main d'oeuvre : Fondements Théoriques et Estimations Empiriques," Post-Print halshs-00303703, HAL.
  3. Dur, Robert & Sol, Joeri, 2009. "Social Interaction, Co-Worker Altruism, and Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 4532, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
  10. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2008. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," Discussion Papers 08-06, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  11. Shelly Lundberg, 2011. "Psychology and Family Economics," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(s1), pages 66-81, 05.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  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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