IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp3120.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

An Economic Analysis of Identity and Career Choice

Author

Listed:
  • Humlum, Maria Knoth

    () (Aarhus University)

  • Kleinjans, Kristin J.

    () (California State University, Fullerton)

  • Nielsen, Helena Skyt

    () (Aarhus University)

Abstract

Standard economic models which focus on pecuniary payoffs cannot explain why there are highly able individuals who choose careers with low pecuniary returns. Therefore, financial incentives are unlikely to be effective in influencing career choices of these individuals. Based on Akerlof and Kranton (2000), we consider a model of career choice and identity where individuals derive non-pecuniary identity payoffs. Using factor analysis on a range of attitude questions, we find two factors related to identity (career orientation and social orientation), which are important for educational choices. The implication is that policymakers and institutions of higher education need to focus on identity related issues rather than just improved financial incentives if they aim at attracting the high ability youth to occupations with excess demand for labor.

Suggested Citation

  • Humlum, Maria Knoth & Kleinjans, Kristin J. & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2007. "An Economic Analysis of Identity and Career Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 3120, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3120
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp3120.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
    2. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "Identifying and Estimating the Distributions of Ex Post and Ex Ante Returns to Schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 870-893, December.
    3. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2002. "Identity and Schooling: Some Lessons for the Economics of Education," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1167-1201, December.
    4. Barbara L. Wolfe & Robert H. Haveman, 2002. "Social and nonmarket benefits from education in an advanced economy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 47(Jun), pages 97-142.
    5. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2005. "Identity and the Economics of Organizations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 9-32, Winter.
    6. Lazear, Edward P, 1977. "Education: Consumption or Production?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 569-597, June.
    7. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    8. Daniel J. Benjamin & James J. Choi & A. Joshua Strickland, 2010. "Social Identity and Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1913-1928, September.
    9. Scott, Anthony, 2001. "Eliciting GPs' preferences for pecuniary and non-pecuniary job characteristics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 329-347, May.
    10. Spetz, Joanne, 2002. "The value of education in a licensed profession: the choice of associate or baccalaureate degrees in nursing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 73-85, February.
    11. Ward, Melanie E & Sloane, Peter J, 2000. "Non-pecuniary Advantages versus Pecuniary Disadvantages; Job Satisfaction among Male and Female Academics in Scottish Universities," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(3), pages 273-303, August.
    12. Dolton, P J & Makepeace, G H & Van Der Klaauw, W, 1989. "Occupational Choice and Earnings Determination: The Role of Sample Selection and Non-pecuniary Factors," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 573-594, July.
    13. Quinn, Robert & Price, Jamie, 1998. "The demand for medical education: an augmented human capital approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-347, June.
    14. Karla Hoff & Priyanka Pandey, 2006. "Discrimination, Social Identity, and Durable Inequalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 206-211, May.
    15. Edward T. Gullason, 1989. "The Consumption Value of Schooling: An Empirical Estimate of One Aspect," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(2), pages 287-298.
    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. Marcus Klemm, 2012. "Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 0379, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Humlum, Maria Knoth & Nandrup, Anne Brink & Smith, Nina, 2017. "Closing or Reproducing the Gender Gap? Parental Transmission, Social Norms and Education Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 10790, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.
    4. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Occupation Choice: Family, Social and Market Influences," MERIT Working Papers 013, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. Mocan, Naci & Raschke, Christian, 2014. "Economic Well-being and Anti-Semitic, Xenophobic, and Racist Attitudes in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 8126, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Karl Fritjof Krassel & Kenneth Lykke Sørensen, 2015. "Childhood and Adulthood Skill Acquisition - Importance for Labor Market Outcomes," Economics Working Papers 2015-20, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    7. Naci Mocan & Christian Raschke, 2016. "Economic well-being and anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist attitudes in Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-63, February.
    8. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:1-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Görges, Luise & Beblo, Miriam, 2015. "Breaking down the wall between nature and nurture: An exploration of gendered work preferences in East and West Germany," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112825, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Does Expert Advice Improve Educational Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 7649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Klemm, Marcus, 2012. "Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 379, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    12. Favara, Marta, 2012. "The Cost of Acting "Girly": Gender Stereotypes and Educational Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 7037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Corneo, Giacomo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2010. "Symbolic values, occupational choice, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 237-251, February.
    14. Juan F. Castro & Gustavo Yamada & Omar Arias, 2011. "Higher education decisions in Peru : on the role of financial constraints, skills, and family background," Working Papers 11-14, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    15. repec:bla:kyklos:v:70:y:2017:i:4:p:565-593 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Zhan, Crystal, 2015. "Money v.s. prestige: Cultural attitudes and occupational choices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 44-56.
    17. Corneo, Giacomo, 2012. "Social insurance, work norms, and the allocation of talent," CEPR Discussion Papers 9028, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Grossmann, Volker & Osikominu, Aderonke & Osterfeld, Marius, 2016. "Sociocultural Background and Choice of STEM Majors at University," CEPR Discussion Papers 11250, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. repec:zbw:rwirep:0379 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Nifo, Annamaria & Scalera, Domenico & Vecchione, Gaetano, 2016. "What do you want to be when you grow up? Local institutional quality and the choice of the fields of study in Italy (2004-2007)," MPRA Paper 69907, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2009. "Elección de ocupación: factores personales y aspectos sociales
      [Occupation Choice: Personal factors and Social Aspects]
      ," MPRA Paper 20432, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    identity; career choice; self-image; choice of higher education;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

    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:dp3120. 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.