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Self-esteem achievement through work and socio-demographic disparities in the labor market

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    We develop a model in which agents choose whether to achieve self-esteem through work. When they do, they develop an intrinsic motivation to effort. Depending on the characteristics of the job to be filled, an employer may try, or not, to encourage this intrinsic motivation by an adequately designed contract. Although equally productive, assuming that agents from distinct socio-demographic groups differ in their propensity to achieve self-esteem through work, this may lead to unequal access to employment. We analyse the consequences of this model on labor market outcomes. The model can give an account of many important traits of socio-demographic disparities in the labor market (notably of vertical occupational segregation.

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    Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1) in its series Cahiers de la Maison des Sciences Economiques with number v05065.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:mse:wpsorb:v05065
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    1. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," NBER Working Papers 7732, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. William A. Darity & Patrick L. Mason, 1998. "Evidence on Discrimination in Employment: Codes of Color, Codes of Gender," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 63-90, Spring.
    3. Neumark, David, 1996. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 915-41, August.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
    5. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
    6. Corcoran, Mary E & Courant, Paul N, 1985. "Sex Role Socialization and Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 275-78, May.
    7. Chaim Fershtman & Yoram Weiss, 1991. "Social Status, Culture and Economic Performance," Discussion Papers 1007, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    8. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
    9. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1998. "What Has Economics to Say about Racial Discrimination?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 91-100, Spring.
    10. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    13. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
    14. McCrate, Elaine, 1988. "Gender Differences: The Role of Endogenous Preferences and Collective Action," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 235-39, May.
    15. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
    16. Harry J. Holzer, 1998. "Employer skill demands and labor market outcomes of blacks and women," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(1), pages 82-98, October.
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