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Income in Jeopardy: How losing employment affects the willingness to take risks

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  • Hetschko, Clemens
  • Preuss, Malte

Abstract

Using German panel data, we assess the causal effect of job loss, and thus of an extensive income shock, on risk attitude. In line with predictions of expected utility reasoning about absolute risk aversion, losing one´s job reduces the willingness to take risks. This effect strengthens in previous hourly wage, begins to manifest itself as soon as an employee perceives the threat of job loss and is of a transitory nature. The change in stated risk attitude matches observable job finding behaviour, confirming the behavioural validity of our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Hetschko, Clemens & Preuss, Malte, 2015. "Income in Jeopardy: How losing employment affects the willingness to take risks," Discussion Papers 2015/32, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:201532
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    Cited by:

    1. Preuss, Malte & Hennecke, Juliane, 2017. "Biased by success and failure: How unemployment shapes stated locus of control," Discussion Papers 2017/29, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    2. Frondel, Manuel & Osberghaus, Daniel & Sommer, Stephan, 2021. "Corona and the stability of personal traits and preferences: Evidence from Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 903, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Armando N. Meier, 2019. "Emotions, Risk Attitudes, and Patience," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1041, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Tausch, Franziska & Zumbuehl, Maria, 2018. "Stability of risk attitudes and media coverage of economic news," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 295-310.
    5. Ayton, Peter & Bernile, Gennaro & Bucciol, Alessandro & Zarri, Luca, 2020. "The impact of life experiences on risk taking," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    6. Matthias Brachert & Walter Hyll & Abdolkarim Sadrieh, 2020. "Entry into self-employment and individuals’ risk-taking propensities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 1057-1074, December.
    7. Luc Meunier & Sima Ohadi, 2021. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Individuals' Risk and Time Preferences," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 41(3), pages 1050-1069.
    8. Viola Angelini & Irene Ferrari, 2021. "The long-term effects of experienced macroeconomic shocks on wealth," Working Papers 2021:23, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    absolute risk aversion; income shock; job loss; plant closure; general risk attitude;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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