Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/33544
Authors: 
Bonin, Holger
Dohmen, Thomas
Falk, Armin
Huffman, David
Sunde, Uwe
Year of Publication: 
2006
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 1930
Abstract: 
This paper investigates whether risk preferences explain how individuals are sorted into occupations with different earnings variability. We exploit data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, which contains a subjective assessment of willingness to take risks whose behavioral relevance has been validated in previous work. As a measure of earnings risk, we use the cross-sectional variation in earnings that is left unexplained by human capital in Mincerian wage regressions. By relating earnings risk to the measure of individual risk preference, our evidence shows that individuals with low willingness to take risks are more likely to be sorted into occupations with low earnings risk. This pattern is found regardless of the level of occupation categories, region, gender and labor market experience. We also find that risk preferences are significant determinant of wages in a Mincer regression, illustrating the importance of preferences and attitudes in addition to more standard regressors.
Subjects: 
occupational choice
sorting
risk preferences
GSOEP
earnings risk
JEL: 
J24
J31
D01
D81
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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