IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp2567.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Skill Uncertainty and Social Inference

Author

Listed:
  • Oxoby, Robert J.

    () (University of Calgary)

Abstract

Research in psychology indicates that individuals often make inferences regarding unknown individual qualities based on potentially irrelevant (but socially observable) information. This paper explores occupational choices when individuals receive imprecise signals regarding ability and use the observable characteristics of previously successful individuals to infer own ability. Individuals who fail to observe successful predecessors of their same type may underestimate their potential for success in the occupation. We discuss the role of these biases in light of the literature on affirmative action and firm incentives.

Suggested Citation

  • Oxoby, Robert J., 2007. "Skill Uncertainty and Social Inference," IZA Discussion Papers 2567, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2567
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2567.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Neumark & Harry Holzer, 2000. "Assessing Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 483-568, September.
    2. Oxoby, Robert J., 2002. "Status characteristics, cognitive bias, and incentives in teams," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 301-316.
    3. Kim-Sau Chung, 2000. "Role Models and Arguments for Affirmative Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 640-648, June.
    4. Manski, C.F., 1990. "Dynamic Choice In A Social Setting," Working papers 9003, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    5. Matthew Rabin, 1998. "Psychology and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 11-46, March.
    6. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-347, June.
    7. Christopher Avery & Susan Athey & Peter Zemsky, 2000. "Mentoring and Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 765-786, September.
    8. Oxoby, Robert J., 2008. "Skill uncertainty and social inference," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 400-405, June.
    9. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    10. Manski, Charles F., 1993. "Dynamic choice in social settings : Learning from the experiences of others," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 121-136, July.
    11. Coate, Stephen & Loury, Glenn C, 1993. "Will Affirmative-Action Policies Eliminate Negative Stereotypes?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1220-1240, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Larry L. Howard & Nishith Prakash, 2012. "Do employment quotas explain the occupational choices of disadvantaged minorities in India?," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(4), pages 489-513, August.
    2. Oxoby, Robert J., 2008. "Skill uncertainty and social inference," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 400-405, June.
    3. Oxoby, Robert J., 2014. "Social inference and occupational choice: Type-based beliefs in a Bayesian model of class formation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 30-37.
    4. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:60:y:2017:i:c:p:125-141 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    occupational choice; social Inference; discrimination;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2567. 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: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.