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Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages

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  • Pannenberg, Markus

    () (Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences)

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between individual risk aversion and reservation wages using a novel set of direct measures of individual risk attitudes from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). We find that risk aversion has a significantly negative impact on the level of reservation wages. Moreover, we show that the elasticity of the reservation wage with respect to unemployment benefits is remarkably lower for risk-averse job seekers than for risk-loving job seekers. The results are consistent with an interpretation that risk-averse job seekers set their reservation wage levels sufficiently low, so that they accept almost every job offer.

Suggested Citation

  • Pannenberg, Markus, 2007. "Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 2806, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2806
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paul Frijters & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Job Search with Nonparticipation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(508), pages 45-83, January.
    2. Gerard J. van den Berg & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "Counseling And Monitoring Of Unemployed Workers: Theory And Evidence From A Controlled Social Experiment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(3), pages 895-936, August.
    3. John T. Addison & Mário Centeno & Pedro Portugal, 2010. "Unemployment Benefits and Reservation Wages: Key Elasticities from a Stripped-Down Job Search Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(305), pages 46-59, January.
    4. Richard Rogerson & Robert Shimer & Randall Wright, 2004. "Search-Theoretic Models of the Labor Market-A Survey," NBER Working Papers 10655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J., 2007. "Empirical labor search: A survey," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 531-564, February.
    6. Bloemen, Hans G & Stancanelli, Elena G F, 2001. "Individual Wealth, Reservation Wages, and Transitions into Employment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 400-439, April.
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    8. Feldstein, Martin & Poterba, James, 1984. "Unemployment insurance and reservation wages," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 141-167.
    9. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1992. "Direct Tests of the Reservation Wage Property," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(415), pages 1423-1432, November.
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    12. Cox, James C & Oaxaca, Ronald L, 1989. "Laboratory Experiments with a Finite-Horizon Job-Search Model," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 301-329, September.
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    14. Lancaster, Tony & Chesher, Andrew, 1983. "An Econometric Analysis of Reservation Wages," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1661-1676, November.
    15. Eswar S Prasad, 2003. "What Determines the Reservation Wages of Unemployed Workers? New Evidence From German Micro Data," IMF Working Papers 03/4, International Monetary Fund.
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    Cited by:

    1. Dubois, Pierre & Vukina, Tomislav, 2009. "Optimal incentives under moral hazard and heterogeneous agents: Evidence from production contracts data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 489-500, July.
    2. Jung, SeEun & Choe, Chung & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2018. "Gender wage gaps and risky vs. secure employment: An experimental analysis," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 112-121.
    3. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "A Note on Risk Aversion and Labour Market Outcomes: Further Evidence from German Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3523, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 85-99, February.
    5. repec:kap:enreec:v:73:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s10640-018-0276-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    survey data; reservation wages; risk aversion;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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