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Personal safety first: Do workers value safer jobs?

Author

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  • Becerra, Oscar
  • Guerra, José-Alberto

Abstract

We elicit college students’ willingness to pay (WTP) for an early versus late job shift in an unsafe neighborhood. We find that concerns about late shift safety and gender are determinants of differences in WTP: Subjects with higher personal safety concerns (i.e., feeling unsafe on the way to or around work) and women forego more earnings to secure the early shift. Yet, we find no differences in WTP when the job is remote. Controlling for a wide range of confounders, such as risk preferences, morning preferences, time use, demographic characteristics, victimization, and information about crime, does not meaningfully affect the effect of safety concerns. Victimization and time use mediate the gender gap. Exploiting past administrative data, we find that subjects with higher WTP for the safer on-site shift are less likely to enroll in evening classes and leave campus earlier during the term, providing evidence for the external validity of our study.

Suggested Citation

  • Becerra, Oscar & Guerra, José-Alberto, 2023. "Personal safety first: Do workers value safer jobs?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 996-1016.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:212:y:2023:i:c:p:996-1016
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2023.06.017
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Safety concerns; Job amenities; Willingness to pay; Gender gaps; Experiment;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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