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Occupational sorting of school graduates: The role of economic preferences

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  • Fouarge, Didier
  • Kriechel, Ben
  • Dohmen, Thomas

Abstract

We relate risk attitudes and patience of young graduates from high-school, college and university, measured around the time that they start their labor market career in a large representative survey, to the riskiness and timing of earnings in the occupations they choose to work in. We find a systematic positive and significant relation between willingness to take risks and measures of occupational earnings risks and employment risk that we derive from a large administrative data set. Patient individuals are significantly more likely to choose for occupations with a steep earnings profile. Individuals whose economic preferences are not well aligned with the riskiness and timing of earnings in their initial occupation are more likely to change to an occupation that better matches their economic preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Fouarge, Didier & Kriechel, Ben & Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Occupational sorting of school graduates: The role of economic preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 335-351.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:106:y:2014:i:c:p:335-351
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2014.07.007
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    Cited by:

    1. Dohmen, Thomas & Lehmann, Hartmut & Pignatti, Norberto, 2016. "Time-varying individual risk attitudes over the Great Recession: A comparison of Germany and Ukraine," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 182-200.
    2. Armin Falk & Anke Becker & Thomas Dohmen & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde, 2016. "The Preference Survey Module: A Validated Instrument for Measuring Risk, Time, and Social Preferences," Working Papers 2016-003, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    3. Jansen, Anika & Pfeifer, Harald & Raecke, Julia, "undated". "Only the brave? Risk and time preferences of decision makers and firms’ investment in worker training," Research Memorandum 004, Maastricht University, Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE).
    4. Pollmann, Daniel & Dohmen, Thomas & Palm, Franz C., 2012. "Robust Estimation of Wage Dispersion with Censored Data: An Application to Occupational Earnings Risk and Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 6447, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. van Huizen, Thomas & Alessie, Rob, 2015. "Time preferences and career investments," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 77-92.
    6. Pannenberg, Markus & Friehe, Tim, 2017. "Time preferences and political regimes: Evidence from reunified Germany," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168173, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:135-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Andreas Kuhn & Stefan C. Wolter, 2018. "The Strength of Gender Norms and Gender-Stereotypical Occupational Aspirations Among Adolescents," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0151, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
    9. Martin Koudstaal & Randolph Sloof & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "Risk, Uncertainty, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(10), pages 2897-2915, October.
    10. T.M. van Huizen & Rob Alessie, 2016. "Risk Aversion and Job Mobility," Working Papers 16-09, Utrecht School of Economics.
    11. Heinrich, Timo & Shachat, Jason, 2018. "The development of risk aversion and prudence in Chinese children and adolescents," MPRA Paper 86456, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Necker, Sarah & Voskort, Andrea, 2014. "Intergenerational transmission of risk attitudes – A revealed preference approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 66-89.
    13. Ruder, Alexander I. & Van Noy, Michelle, 2017. "Knowledge of earnings risk and major choice: Evidence from an information experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 80-90.
    14. repec:beh:jbepv1:v:1:y:2017:i:s:p:41-48 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk preferences; Earnings risk; Sorting; Occupational choice;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles

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