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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. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2002. "Envy and Compassion in Tournaments," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse32_2002, University of Bonn, Germany.
  2. Hartog, Joop & Diaz-Serrano, Luis, 2002. "Earnings Risk and Demand for Higher Education: A Cross-Section Test for Spain," IZA Discussion Papers 641, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. 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).
  4. Englmaier, Florian & Wambach, Achim, 2005. "Optimal Incentive Contracts under Inequity Aversion," IZA Discussion Papers 1643, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. 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.
  7. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Working Papers 200827, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. 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.
  9. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dohmen, Thomas J & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Risk and Trust Attitudes," CEPR Discussion Papers 6844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, June.
  12. 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..
  13. 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).
  14. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2008. "Representative trust and reciprocity: Prevalence and determinants," Munich Reprints in Economics 20057, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  15. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Cross-sectional Earnings Risk and Occupational Sorting: The Role of Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 1930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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