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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. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, December.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2009. "Homo Reciprocans: Survey Evidence on Behavioural Outcomes," Munich Reprints in Economics 20055, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. 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.
  4. Joop Hartog & Luis Díaz-Serrano, 2007. "Earnings risk and demand for higher education: A cross-section test for Spain," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 1-28, May.
  5. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin, 2010. "Performance Pay and Multi-dimensional Sorting - Productivity, Preferences and Gender," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  6. Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 2380, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," NBER Working Papers 13810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Eliciting student expectations of the returns to schooling," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1049-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  9. 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.
  10. Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological foundations of incentives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
  11. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse32_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  12. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2010. "Optimal incentive contracts under inequity aversion," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 312-328, July.
  13. 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.
  14. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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..
  19. 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.
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