IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp8678.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Locus of Control and the Labor Market

Author

Listed:
  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.

    () (University of Sydney)

Abstract

This paper reviews the role of locus of control in the labor market. I begin with a discussion of the conceptual origins of locus of control, including its relationship to related concepts such as self-efficacy, motivation, and self-control. The relationship between locus of control and labor market success is then summarized. In doing so, I pay careful attention to what we know about three potential mechanisms – human capital investments, hiring decisions, and optimal incentive contracts – through which locus of control might operate. Finally, the broader implications of these relationships for public policy and future research are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2014. "Locus of Control and the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 8678, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8678
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp8678.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Linda Babcock & William Congdon & Lawrence Katz & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2012. "Notes on behavioral economics and labor market policy," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-14, December.
    2. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioral labor economics: Advances and future directions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 71-85.
    3. Clark, Gregory, 1994. "Factory Discipline," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 54(01), pages 128-163, March.
    4. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2012. "The stability of big-five personality traits," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 11-15.
    5. Paul J. Andrisani, 1981. "Internal-External Attitudes, Sense of Efficacy, and Labor Market Experience: A Reply to Duncan and Morgan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(4), pages 658-666.
    6. Levin, Laurence, 1998. "Are assets fungible?: Testing the behavioral theory of life-cycle savings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 59-83, July.
    7. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
    8. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
    9. Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981. "An Economic Theory of Self-Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(2), pages 392-406, April.
    10. Montizaan, Raymond M. & Vendrik, Maarten C.M., 2014. "Misery Loves Company: Exogenous shocks in retirement expectations and social comparison effects on subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 1-26.
    11. Christopher Boyce & Alex Wood & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2013. "Is Personality Fixed? Personality Changes as Much as “Variable” Economic Factors and More Strongly Predicts Changes to Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 287-305, March.
    12. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2012. "Understanding overeating and obesity," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 781-796.
    13. Salamanca Acosta, N. & de Grip, A. & Fouarge, D. & Montizaan, R.M., 2013. "Locus of control and investment in risky assets," ROA Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    14. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    15. Silvia Mendolia & Ian Walker, 2014. "The effect of personality traits on subject choice and performance in high school," Working Papers 64907361, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    16. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
    17. Margo Coleman & Thomas DeLeire, 2003. "An Economic Model of Locus of Control and the Human Capital Investment Decision," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    18. Anke Becker & Thomas Deckers & Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & Fabian Kosse, 2012. "The Relationship Between Economic Preferences and Psychological Personality Measures," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 453-478, July.
    19. Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Nele Warrinnier & Francesca Cornaglia, 2018. "Locus of Control and its Intergenerational Implications for Early Childhood Skill Formation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(608), pages 298-329, February.
    20. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
    21. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Sinning, Mathias G., 2016. "Locus of control and savings," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 113-130.
    22. Goldsmith, Arthur H. & Veum, Jonathan R. & Darity, William Jr., 1996. "The psychological impact of unemployment and joblessness," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 333-358.
    23. 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.
    24. 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.
    25. Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2014. "The effect of personality traits on subject choice and performance in high school: Evidence from an English cohort," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 47-65.
    26. 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.
    27. M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "Job Search and Hyperbolic Discounting: Structural Estimation and Policy Evaluation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1418-1452, August.
    28. Deborah A. Cobb‐Clark & Stefanie Schurer, 2013. "Two Economists' Musings on the Stability of Locus of Control," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0, pages 358-400, August.
    29. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2014. "Applying Insights from Behavioral Economics to Policy Design," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 663-688, August.
    30. Paul J. Andrisani, 1977. "Internal-External Attitudes, Personal Initiative, and the Labor Market Experience of Black and White Men," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 12(3), pages 308-328.
    31. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    32. Stefano DellaVigna & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "Job Search and Impatience," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(3), pages 527-588, July.
    33. Shefrin, Hersh M & Thaler, Richard H, 1988. "The Behavioral Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(4), pages 609-643, October.
    34. Merve Cebi, 2007. "Locus of Control and Human Capital Investment Revisited," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(4).
    35. 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.
    36. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-28.
    37. Sanjay Jain, 2012. "Self-Control and Incentives: An Analysis of Multiperiod Quota Plans," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(5), pages 855-869, September.
    38. Esteban, Susanna & Miyagawa, Eiichi & Shum, Matthew, 2007. "Nonlinear pricing with self-control preferences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 306-338, July.
    39. Gilpatric, Scott M., 2008. "Present-biased preferences, self-awareness and shirking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 735-754, September.
    40. Parsons, Christopher A. & Van Wesep, Edward D., 2013. "The timing of pay," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 373-397.
    41. Ngina Chiteji, 2010. "Time Preference, Noncognitive Skills and Well Being across the Life Course: Do Noncognitive Skills Encourage Healthy Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 200-204, May.
    42. Heineck, Guido & Anger, Silke, 2010. "The returns to cognitive abilities and personality traits in Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 535-546, June.
    43. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
    44. Mirjam van Praag & Arjen van Witteloostuijn & Justin van der Sluis, 2009. "Returns for Entrepreneurs versus Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vis-a-vis Wage Employees," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-111/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    45. Goldsmith, Arthur H & Veum, Jonathan R & Darity, William, Jr, 1997. "The Impact of Psychological and Human Capital on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 815-829, October.
    46. Jule Specht & Boris Egloff & Stefan C. Schmukle, 2011. "Stability and Change of Personality across the Life Course: The Impact of Age and Major Life Events on Mean-Level and Rank-Order Stability of the Big Five," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 377, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    47. van Praag, Mirjam C. & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen & van der Sluis, Justin, 2009. "Returns for Entrepreneurs vs. Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vs. Wage Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 4628, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    48. Andrew D. McGee, 2015. "How the Perception of Control Influences Unemployed Job Search," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(1), pages 184-211, January.
    49. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
    50. Supreet Kaur & Michael Kremer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "Self-Control and the Development of Work Arrangements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 624-628, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labor market; behavioral economics; locus of control;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies

    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:dp8678. 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.