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Search, effort, and locus of control

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  • McGee, Andrew
  • McGee, Peter

Abstract

We test the hypothesis that locus of control influences search by affecting beliefs about the efficacy of search effort in a laboratory experiment. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that reservation wages and effort are increasing in the belief that one's efforts influence outcomes when subjects are not told how search effort affects search outcomes but are unrelated to these locus of control beliefs when subjects know the relationship between effort and search outcomes. This difference in the relationship between locus of control and search behavior across treatments cannot be explained by unmeasured skill or effort costs as the search technology and offer distribution do not vary across treatments. Only the scope for locus of control to influence beliefs differs and can explain the observed difference across treatments.

Suggested Citation

  • McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2016. "Search, effort, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 89-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:126:y:2016:i:pa:p:89-101
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.03.001
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    1. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2016. "Search, effort, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 89-101.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Abel & Rulof Burger & Eliana Carranza & Patrizio Piraino, 2019. "Bridging the Intention-Behavior Gap? The Effect of Plan-Making Prompts on Job Search and Employment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 284-301, April.
    2. Jingcheng Fu & Martin Sefton & Richard Upward, 2017. "Social comparisons in job search: experimental evidence," Discussion Papers 2017-10, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    3. Sharma, Smriti & Tarp, Finn, 2018. "Does managerial personality matter? Evidence from firms in Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 432-445.
    4. McGee, Andrew & McGee, Peter, 2016. "Search, effort, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 126(PA), pages 89-101.
    5. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    6. repec:eee:jeborg:v:143:y:2017:i:c:p:98-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Xue, Sen & Kidd, Michael P. & Le, Anh T. & Kirk, Kathy & Martin, Nicholas G., 2019. "The Role of Locus of Control in Education, Occupation, Income and Healthy Habits: Evidence from Australian Twins," GLO Discussion Paper Series 371, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Heywood, John S. & Jirjahn, Uwe & Struewing, Cornelia, 2017. "Locus of control and performance appraisal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 205-225.
    9. Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2014. "Do NEETs Need Grit?," IZA Discussion Papers 8740, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Silvia Mendolia & Ian Walker, 2015. "Youth unemployment and the effect of personality traits," Working Papers 84097960, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    11. Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Nele Warrinnier & Francesca Cornaglia, 2018. "Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 298-329, February.
    12. Caliendo, Marco & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Hennecke, Juliane & Uhlendorff, Arne, 2015. "Job Search, Locus of Control, and Internal Migration," IZA Discussion Papers 9600, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Andrew D. McGee, 2015. "How the Perception of Control Influences Unemployed Job Search," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(1), pages 184-211, January.
    14. Silvia Mendolia & Ian Walker, 2015. "Youth unemployment and personality traits," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Locus of control; Reservation wages; Labor market search; Experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior

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