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Antecedents of Attitudes Towards Risky Career Choices

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  • Verena Jung
  • Sascha L. Schmidt
  • Benno Torgler

Abstract

We explore the attitude towards risky career choices of young people in highly competitive environments. We empirically test which factors influence young elite athletes' tendency towards choosing a high-risk career option over a lower risk one; looking at the attitudes, of close to 1000 soccer players in the German "Bundesliga" professional clubs' Youth Academies, towards making real-life decisions. Generally, they face the decision early on as to whether or not they should risk quitting school to solely focus on a professional soccer career. Our study confirms that elements of expected utility, assessment of the likelihood of achievement of the aspired career as well as the potential benefit derived from this decision, explain risk-taking in competitive environments. The longer an individual survives the continuous selection process in the competitive environment, the more he thinks that he will eventually succeed - despite the increasing opportunity costs of quitting a low-risk alternative career. Initial success in the selection processes is a key trigger for the tendency to choose a career in winner-take-all markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Verena Jung & Sascha L. Schmidt & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Antecedents of Attitudes Towards Risky Career Choices," CREMA Working Paper Series 2012-20, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2012-20
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Frey, Bruno S., 1988. "Ipsative and objective limits to human behavior," Journal of Behavioral Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 229-248.
    2. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Career choices; Risk attitude; Risk perception; Professional athletes; Young athletes; Opportunity cost; integration;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism

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