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The Happiness Gains From Sorting and Matching in the Labor Market

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  • Simon Luechinger
  • Alois Stutzer
  • Rainer winkelmann

Abstract

Sorting of people on the labor market not only assures the most productive use of valuable skills but also generates individual utility gains if people experience an optimal match between job characteristics and their preferences. Based on individual data on reported satisfaction with life it is possible to assess these latter gains from matching. We introduce a two-equation ordered probit model with endogenous switching and study self-selection into government and private sector jobs. We find considerable gains from matching amounting to an increase in the fraction of very satisfied workers from 53.8 to 58.8 percent relative to a hypothetical random allocation of workers to the two sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer & Rainer winkelmann, 2006. "The Happiness Gains From Sorting and Matching in the Labor Market," IEW - Working Papers 275, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:275
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Luechinger & Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Why Does Unemployment Hurt the Employed?: Evidence from the Life Satisfaction Gap Between the Public and the Private Sector," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 998-1045.
    2. Pfeifer, Christian, 2008. "A Note on Risk Aversion and Labour Market Outcomes: Further Evidence from German Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3523, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Simon Luechinger & Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2010. "Why Does Unemployment Hurt the Employed?: Evidence from the Life Satisfaction Gap Between the Public and the Private Sector," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(4), pages 998-1045.
    4. Buurman, Margaretha & Delfgaauw, Josse & Dur, Robert & Van den Bossche, Seth, 2012. "Public sector employees: Risk averse and altruistic?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 279-291.
    5. Robin Zoutenbier, 2014. "The Impact of Matching Mission Preferences on Well-being at Work," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 14-036/I, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Robin Zoutenbier, 2016. "The impact of matching mission preferences on well-being at work," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 295-315, August.
    7. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "Risk Aversion and Sorting into Public Sector Employment," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(1), pages 85-99, February.
    8. Simon Luechinger & Stephan Meier & Alois Stutzer, 2008. "Why does unemployment hurt the employed?: evidence from the life satisfaction gap between the public and private sectors," Public Policy Discussion Paper 08-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    9. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Cahit Guven & Bent Sørensen, 2012. "Subjective Well-Being: Keeping Up with the Perception of the Joneses," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 439-469, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Matching; ordered probit; public sector employment; selection; switching regression; subjective well-being;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets

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