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Locus of Control and Job Search Strategies

  • Caliendo, Marco

    ()

    (University of Potsdam)

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    ()

    (University of Melbourne)

  • Uhlendorff, Arne

    ()

    (CREST)

Standard job search theory assumes that unemployed individuals have perfect information about the effect of their search effort on the job offer arrival rate. In this paper, we present an alternative model which assumes instead that each individual has a subjective belief about the impact of his or her search effort on the rate at which job offers arrive. These beliefs depend in part on an individual's locus of control, i.e., the extent to which a person believes that future outcomes are determined by his or her own actions as opposed to external factors. We estimate the impact of locus of control on job search behavior using a novel panel data set of newly-unemployed individuals in Germany. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, we find evidence that individuals with an internal locus of control search more and that individuals who believe that their future outcomes are determined by external factors have lower reservation wages.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4750.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Review of Economics and Statistics, 2015, 97(1), 88-103. Supplementary Appendix available here .
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4750
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  1. Thomas DeLeire & Margo Coleman, 2000. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Working Papers 0019, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  2. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
  3. Alberto Abadie & Alexis Diamond & Jens Hainmueller, 2007. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California's Tobacco Control Program," NBER Technical Working Papers 0335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. van den Berg, Gerard J & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2001. "Counselling and Monitoring of Unemployed Workers: Theory and Evidence from a Controlled Social Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Groves, Melissa Osborne, 2005. "How important is your personality? Labor market returns to personality for women in the US and UK," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 827-841, December.
  6. Pierre Cahuc & André Zylberberg, 2004. "Labor Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026203316x, June.
  7. Guido Heineck & Silke Anger, 2008. "The Returns to Cognitive Abilities and Personality Traits in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 124, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. Eckstein, Zvi & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2004. "Empirical Labour Search: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 4199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, 02.
  10. Fougère, Denis & Pradel, Jacqueline & Roger, Muriel, 2009. "Does the public employment service affect search effort and outcomes?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 846-869, October.
  11. Semykina, Anastasia & Linz, Susan J., 2007. "Gender differences in personality and earnings: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 387-410, June.
  12. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
  13. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2004. "Job Search and Impatience," NBER Working Papers 10837, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  15. Hansemark, Ove C., 2003. "Need for achievement, locus of control and the prediction of business start-ups: A longitudinal study," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 301-319, June.
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