The Choice of Institutions: The Role of Risk and Risk-Aversion
Institutions can affect individual behavior both via their efficiency impact and via their risk reducing mechanisms. However there has been little study of the relative importance of these two channels in how individuals choose between simultaneously extant institutions. This paper presents a simple model of institutional choice in a labor market when there is a risk/reward trade-off, and tests the predictions of the theory. Using a novel empirical approach that adapts an ARCH-in-mean to cross-sectional survey data from China, we find that risk and risk aversion are strongly related to the choice of a labor market institution. Further, risk and risk aversion are quantitatively more important than the sectoral wage differential in explaining employment institution choices. Specifically, we find that wage risk has two orders of magnitude greater impact on labor market institutional choice than the wage difference, with a one standard deviation increase in earnings risk reducing the number of workers choosing jobs in the private (risky) sector by 22%.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Weiss, Yoram, 1972. "The Risk Element in Occupational and Educational Choices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1203-13, Nov.-Dec..
- Petrongolo, Barbara & Pissarides, Christopher, 2000.
"Looking Into The Black Box: A Survey Of The Matching Function,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2409, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Barbara Petrongolo & Christopher Pissarides, 2000. "Looking into the black box: a survey of the matching function," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2122, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Daniel S. Hamermesh & Jeff E. Biddle, 1993.
"Beauty and the Labor Market,"
NBER Working Papers
4518, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ormiston, Michael B & Schlee, Edward E, 1994. "Wage Uncertainty and Competitive Equilibrium in Labour Markets," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(242), pages 137-45, May.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000.
"The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation,"
NBER Working Papers
7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Chetan Ghate & Quan Vu Le & Paul J. Zak, 2002.
"Optimal Fiscal Policy in an Economy Facing Socio-Political Instability,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
308, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Chetan Ghate & Quan Vu Le & Paul J. Zak, 2003. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in an Economy Facing Sociopolitical Instability," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(4), pages 583-598, November.
- Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-63, December.
- Hayashi, Fumio & Altonji, Joseph & Kotlikoff, Laurence, 1996. "Risk-Sharing between and within Families," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 261-94, March.
- Brixiova, Zuzana & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1997. "Private sector development in transition economies," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 241-279, June.
- Margaret Maurer-Fazio, 1995. "Labor Reform in China: Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(4), pages 111-123, December.
- Shaw, Kathryn L, 1996. "An Empirical Analysis of Risk Aversion and Income Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(4), pages 626-53, October.
- Cheung, Steven N S, 1969. "Transaction Costs, Risk Aversion, and the Choice of Contractual Arrangements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 23-42, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0508004. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.