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Reservation Wages and Labor Supply

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  • Kesternich, Iris
  • Schumacher, H.
  • Siflinger, Bettina

    (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)

  • Valder, Franziska

Abstract

Survey measures of the reservation wage reflect both the consumption-leisure trade-off and job search concerns (the arrival rate of job offers and the wage distribution). We examine what a survey measure of the reservation wage reveals about labor supply when search concerns are absent. To this end, we combine the reservation wage measure from a large labor market survey with the reservation wage for a one-hour job that we elicit in an online experiment. The two measures show a strong positive association. For unemployed individuals, the experimental reservation wage increases on average by around one Euro for every Euro increase in the survey measure. For employed individuals, the association between the two measures is weaker, but still positive and statistically significant. We show that these results are robust to selection into the experiment, and that demographic variables have a similar influence on both reservation wage measures.
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Suggested Citation

  • Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, H. & Siflinger, Bettina & Valder, Franziska, 2018. "Reservation Wages and Labor Supply," Discussion Paper 2018-054, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tiu:tiucen:70120e32-12f5-447b-baa5-c121cc0ab693
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    1. Carlsson, Fredrik & Kataria, Mitesh & Lampi, Elina, 2024. "Sexual objectification of women in media and the gender wage gap: Does exposure to objectifying pictures lower the reservation wage?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 108(C).
    2. Kesternich, Iris & Schumacher, Heiner & Siflinger, Bettina & Schwarz, Stefan, 2021. "Money or meaning? Labor supply responses to work meaning of employed and unemployed individuals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    3. Stüber, Heiko & Dauth, Wolfgang & Eppelsheimer, Johann, 2023. "A guide to preparing the sample of integrated labour market biographies (SIAB, version 7519 v1) for scientific analysis," Journal for Labour Market Research, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany], vol. 57, pages 1-7.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    reservation wages; labor supply; search; validation of survey measures;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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