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Identities, Conflicting Behavioural Norms and the Importance of Job Attributes

Author

Listed:
  • Russo, Giovanni

    () (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop))

  • van Hooft, Edwin

    () (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

The paper empirically expounds the richness of the identity approach to labor market behavior by allowing individuals to experience identity conflict. Specifically, it investigates the relationship between the importance individuals attach to labor-market activities – which is influenced by the identity to which they adhere – and their preferences for job attributes. The analysis shows that individuals who consider labor-market success as instrumental for achieving their life goals tend to attach importance to job characteristics such as pay level and career and training opportunities. Individuals for whom non-labor market activities are important and in conflict with labor market activities are found to attach importance to the possibility of working on a convenient time schedule. Moreover, consistently with the identity approach to labor-market behavior, men appear to resolve the conflict between career and non-work activities in favor of the former. Finally, unobserved factors that increase the desire to work part-time have a negative impact on the likelihood of attaching importance to training and career opportunities offered by the job.

Suggested Citation

  • Russo, Giovanni & van Hooft, Edwin, 2009. "Identities, Conflicting Behavioural Norms and the Importance of Job Attributes," IZA Discussion Papers 4412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4412
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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.
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    3. 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.
    4. Timothy J. Gronberg & W. Robert Reed, 1994. "Estimating Workers' Marginal Willingness to Pay for Job Attributes Using Duration Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 911-931.
    5. Hwang, Hae-shin & Reed, W Robert & Hubbard, Carlton, 1992. "Compensating Wage Differentials and Unobserved Productivity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 835-858, August.
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    11. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the Effect of Personality on Male and Female Earnings," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
    12. Landers, Renee M & Rebitzer, James B & Taylor, Lowell J, 1996. "Rat Race Redux: Adverse Selection in the Determination of Work Hours in Law Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 329-348, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amelie F. Constant & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2011. "Migration, Ethnicity and Economic Integration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    role conflict; social identity; job attributes; part-time;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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