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You Get What You Pay For: Incentives and Selection in the Education System

  • Thomas Dohmen
  • Armin Falk

We analyse worker self-selection, with a special focus on teachers, to explore whether worker composition is generally endogenous. We analyse laboratory experimental data to provide causal evidence on particular sorting patterns. Our field data analysis focuses specifically on selection patterns of teachers. We find that teachers are more risk averse than employees in other professions, indicating that relatively risk averse individuals sort into teaching occupations under the current system. Using survey measures on trust and reciprocity we find that teachers trust more and are less negatively reciprocal than other employees, and establish differences in personality based on the Big Five concept. Copyright � The Author(s). Journal compilation � Royal Economic Society 2010.

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Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 120 (2010)
Issue (Month): 546 (08)
Pages: F256-F271

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:120:y:2010:i:546:p:f256-f271
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  1. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  3. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The intergenerational transmission of risk and trust attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20051, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  4. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe, 2008. "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  5. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," IZA Discussion Papers 647, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Representative trust and reciprocity: Prevalence and determenants," Munich Reprints in Economics 20058, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  7. Borghans Lex & Lee Duckworth Angela & Heckman James J. & Weel Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  8. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations Of The Returns To Schooling," Econometrics 9411002, EconWPA.
  9. Joop Hartog & Luis Diaz-Serrano, 2004. "Earnings Risk And Demand For Higher Education: A Cross-Section Test For Spain," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1370804, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  10. Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 3185, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin, 2006. "Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 2001, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, May.
  13. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2007. "Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 926-937, December.
  14. Hause, John C, 1974. "The Risk Element in Occupational and Educational Choices: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 803-07, July/Aug..
  15. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  16. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2010. "Optimal incentive contracts under inequity aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 312-328, July.
  17. Lalith Munasinghe & Nachum Sicherman, 2006. "Why Do Dancers Smoke? Smoking, Time Preference, and Wage Dynamics," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 32(4), pages 595-616, Fall.
  18. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
  19. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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