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Job Characteristics and Labour Supply

  • Lars Kunze
  • Nicolai Suppa


We document the importance of non-pecuniary aspects in employment relationships by showing that labour supply elasticities differ significantly among individuals’ job characteristics. Factor analysis indicates the relevance of four characteristics: autonomy, workload, variety and job security. Using a discrete choice model of family labour supply on the basis of Australian data, we show that income elasticities are significantly higher among individuals with “good” characteristics (e.g. a securer job) whereas wage elasticities are significantly lower. This result holds for both men and women. Our main hypothesis are derived within the ‘new approach to consumer theory proposed by Lancaster.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0418.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0418
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  1. Richard Blundell & Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Thierry Magnac & Costas Meghir, 2002. "Collective Labor Supply: Heterogeneity and Nonparticipation," Research Unit Working Papers 0210, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
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  7. Richard Blundell & Andrew Shephard, 2012. "Employment, Hours of Work and the Optimal Taxation of Low-Income Families," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 481-510.
  8. Luechinger, Simon & Meier, Stephan & Stutzer, Alois, 2008. "Why Does Unemployment Hurt the Employed? Evidence from the Life Satisfaction Gap between the Public and the Private Sector," IZA Discussion Papers 3385, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Farzin, Y.H., 2009. "The effect of non-pecuniary motivations on labor supply," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 1236-1259, November.
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  12. Euwals, Rob & van Soest, Arthur, 1999. "Desired and actual labour supply of unmarried men and women in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-118, March.
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  17. Daniele Pacifico, 2010. "On the role of unobserved preference heterogeneity in discrete choice models of labour supply," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0071, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
  18. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n16, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  19. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
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  21. Fortin, Bernard & Lacroix, Guy, 1997. "A Test of the Unitary and Collective Models of Household Labour Supply," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(443), pages 933-55, July.
  22. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132.
  23. Thomas Cornelißen, 2009. "The Interaction of Job Satisfaction, Job Search, and Job Changes. An Empirical Investigation with German Panel Data," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 367-384, June.
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  25. Peter Haan, 2006. "Much ado about nothing: conditional logit vs. random coefficient models for estimating labour supply elasticities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 251-256.
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