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Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment

  • Pfeifer, Christian

    ()

    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

This research note uses two German data sets – the large-scale German Socio-Economic Panel and unique data from own student questionnaires – to analyse the relationship between risk aversion and the choice for public sector employment. Main results are: (1) more risk averse individuals sort into public sector employment, (2) the impact of career specific and unemployment risk attitudes is larger than the impact of general risk attitudes, and (3) risk taking is rewarded with higher wages in the private but not in the public sector.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3503.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: German Economic Review, 2011, 12 (1), 85 - 99
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3503
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  1. George J. Borjas, 2002. "The Wage Structure and the Sorting of Workers into the Public Sector," NBER Working Papers 9313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer & Rainer Winkelmann, 2007. "The Happiness Gains from Sorting and Matching in the Labor Market," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 45, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  3. Pannenberg, Markus, 2007. "Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 2806, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Markus Pannenberg, 2007. "Risk Aversion and Reservation Wages," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 23, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, 09.
  6. Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A., 1997. "Public and Private Sector Wages of Male Workers in Germany," Economics Working Papers eco97/13, European University Institute.
  7. Clark, Andrew E. & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2005. "Job Security and Job Protection," IZA Discussion Papers 1489, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Shaw, Kathryn L, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of Risk Aversion and Income Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 626-53, October.
  9. James M. Poterba & Kim S. Rueben, 1994. "The Distribution of Public Sector Wage Premia: New Evidence Using Quantile Regression Methods," NBER Working Papers 4734, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Gregory, Robert G. & Borland, Jeff, 1999. "Recent developments in public sector labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 53, pages 3573-3630 Elsevier.
  11. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-74120 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Rebecca M. Blank, 1985. "An analysis of workers' choice between employment in the public and private sectors," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 38(2), pages 211-224, January.
  13. Joni Hersch & W. Kip Viscusi, 1990. "Cigarette Smoking, Seatbelt Use, and Differences in Wage-Risk Tradeoffs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 202-227.
  14. Mueller, Richard E., 1998. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Canada: evidence from quantile regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 229-235, August.
  15. Pederson, P. J. & Schmidt-Sorensen, J. B. & Smith, N. & Westergard-Nielsen, N., 1990. "Wage differentials between the public and private sectors," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 125-145, February.
  16. Christian Dustmann & Arthur Van Soest, 1997. "Wage structures in the private and public sectors in West Germany," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(3), pages 225-247, August.
  17. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
  18. Don Bellante & Albert N. Link, 1981. "Are public sector workers more risk averse than private sector workers?," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(3), pages 408-412, April.
  19. Feinberg, Robert M, 1977. "Risk Aversion, Risk, and the Duration of Unemployment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 59(3), pages 264-71, August.
  20. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1974. "Risk, Job Search, and Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1255-67, Nov.-Dec..
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