IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Effects of positive attitude and optimism on wage and employment: A double selection approach

  • Mohanty, Madhu Sudan
Registered author(s):

    Using two samples from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79), a longitudinal data set from the United States, and following a double selection approach, the current study estimates the worker's employment and wage equations simultaneously with positive attitude and optimism as additional explanatory variables. Modeling employment as a bivariate decision process, the study examines different factors that influence the worker's labor market participation decision, the employer's hiring decision and the wage rate. The study finds the evidence that the worker's positive attitude and optimism affect the worker's employment probability from different angles: the former through the participation decision and the latter through the hiring decision. Following an alternative approach, this study also provides strong support to the earlier finding that positive attitude affects the worker's wage positively. Interestingly, the effects of attitude variables on the worker's wage are found to be quite comparable in magnitude to the wage effects of the traditional human capital variables.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

    Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 304-316

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:3:p:304-316
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2010. "The credibility revolution in empirical economics: how better research design is taking the con out of econometrics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48898, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Borghans Lex & Lee Duckworth Angela & Heckman James J. & Weel Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    3. Mohanty, Madhu S., 2009. "Effects of positive attitude on happiness and wage: Evidence from the US data," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 884-897, December.
    4. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-29, October.
    5. Mohanty, Madhu Sudan, 2010. "Effects of positive attitude and optimism on employment: Evidence from the US data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 258-270, April.
    6. Nyhus, Ellen K. & Pons, Empar, 2005. "The effects of personality on earnings," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 363-384, June.
    7. Glen R. Waddell, 2006. "Labor-Market Consequences of Poor Attitude and Low Self-Esteem in Youth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(1), pages 69-97, January.
    8. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
    9. Meng, Chun-Lo & Schmidt, Peter, 1985. "On the Cost of Partial Observability in the Bivariate Probit Model," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 71-85, February.
    10. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Elaine Sorensen, 1989. "Measuring the pay disparity between typically female occupations and other jobs: A bivariate selectivity approach," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(4), pages 624-639, July.
    12. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis & Melissa Osborne, 2001. "Incentive-Enhancing Preferences: Personality, Behavior and Earnings," Working Papers 01-01-004, Santa Fe Institute.
    13. Mohanty, Madhu S., 2009. "Effects of positive attitude on earnings: Evidence from the US longitudinal data," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 357-371, March.
    14. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
    15. John M. Abowd & Henry S. Farber, 1982. "Job queues and the union status of workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(3), pages 354-367, April.
    16. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Is Schooling "Mostly in the Genes"? Nature-N urture Decomposition Using Data on Relatives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1425-46, December.
    17. MS Mohanty, 2001. "Determination Of Participation Decision, Hiring Decision, And Wages In A Double Selection Framework: Male-Female Wage Differentials In The U.S. Labor Market Revisited," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 197-212, 04.
    18. Farber, Henry S, 1983. "The Determination of the Union Status of Workers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(5), pages 1417-37, September.
    19. Christopher A. Sims, 2010. "But Economics Is Not an Experimental Science," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 59-68, Spring.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:41:y:2012:i:3:p:304-316. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.