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The Wealth Effect in Occupational Choice

  • Weiss, Yoram

The purpose of this paper is to indicate regularities in the area of occupational choice using income-leisure analysis. A simple one-period model is used to examine the effect of changes in nonhuman and human wealth on the choice of an occupation. It is argued that under certainty: An increase in nonwage income will increase the propensity to choose pleasant low-paying work activities. An increase in human capital will also induce a choice of pleasant work activities if the income effect is dominant. Under conditions of uncertainty an increase in nonwage income will tend to encourage the choice of risky high-paying work activities if their monetary returns are uncertain. If the nonmonetary returns of an occupation are uncertain the propensity to choose it will tend to decrease with wealth. Finally, an increase in human capital is likely to discourage the choice of occupations with risky monetary returns.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 17 (1976)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 292-307

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:17:y:1976:i:2:p:292-307
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  1. Keeney, Ralph L, 1973. "Risk Independence and Multiattributed Utility Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(1), pages 27-34, January.
  2. Weiss, Yoram, 1972. "The Risk Element in Occupational and Educational Choices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1203-13, Nov.-Dec..
  3. Weiss, Yoram, 1971. "Learning by doing and occupational specialization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 189-198, June.
  4. Diamond, Peter A. & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1974. "Increases in risk and in risk aversion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 337-360, July.
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