Essays on Personnel Economics and Gender Issues
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
This thesis consists of four self-contained essays in economics. Tournaments and unfair treatment. This paper introduces the negative feelings associated with the perception of being unfairly treated into a tournament model and examines the impact of these perceptions on workers’ efforts and their willingness to work overtime. The effect of unfair treatment on workers’ behavior is ambiguous in the model in that two countervailing effects arise: a negative impulsive effect and a positive strategic effect. The impulsive effect implies that workers react to the perception of being unfairly treated by reducing their level of effort. The strategic effect implies that workers raise this level in order to improve their career opportunities and thereby avoid feeling even more unfairly treated in the future. An empirical test of the model using survey data from a Swedish municipal utility shows that the overall effect is negative. This suggests that employers should consider the negative impulsive effect of unfair treatment on effort and overtime in designing contracts and determining on promotions.
Late careers in Sweden between 1970 and 2000. In this essay Swedish workers’ late careers between 1970 and 2000 are studied. The aim is to examine older workers’ career patterns and whether they have changed during this period. For example, is there a difference in career mobility or labor market exiting between cohorts? What affects the late career, and does this differ between cohorts? The analysis shows that between 1970 and 2000 the late careers of Swedish workers comprised of few job changes and consisted more of “trying to keep the job you had in your mid-fifties” than of climbing up the promotion ladder. There are no cohort differences in this pattern. Also a large fraction of the older workers exited the labor market before the normal retirement age of 65. During the 1970s and first part of the 1980s, 56 percent of the older workers made an early exit and the average drop-out age was 63. During the late 1980s and the 1990s the share of old workers who made an early exit had risen to 76 percent and the average drop-out age had dropped to 61.5. Different factors have affected the probabilities of an early exit between 1970 and 2000. For example, skills did affect the risk of exiting the labor market during the 1970s and up to the mid-1980s, but not in the late 1980s or the 1990s. During the first period old workers in the lowest occupations or with the lowest level of education were more likely to exit the labor market than more highly skilled workers. In the second period old workers at all levels of skill had the same probability of leaving the labor market.
The growth and survival of establishments: does gender segregation matter? We empirically examine the employment dynamics that arise in Becker’s (1957) model of labor market discrimination. According to the model, firms that employ a large fraction of women will be relatively more profitable due to lower wage costs, and thus enjoy a greater probability of surviving and growing by underselling other firms in the competitive product market. In order to test these implications, we use a unique Swedish matched employer-employee data set. We find that female-dominated establishments do not enjoy any greater probability of surviving and do not grow faster than other establishments. Additionally, we find that integrated establishments, in terms of gender, age and education levels, are more successful than other establishments. Thus, attempts by legislators to integrate firms along all dimensions of diversity may have positive effects on the growth and survival of firms.
Risk and overconfidence – Gender differences in financial decision-making as revealed in the TV game-show Jeopardy. We have used unique data from the Swedish version of the TV-show Jeopardy to uncover gender differences in financial decision-making by looking at the contestants’ final wagering strategies. After ruling out empirical best-responses, which do appear in Jeopardy in the US, a simple model is derived to show that risk preferences, the subjective and objective probabilities of answering correctly (individual and group competence), determine wagering strategies. The empirical model shows that, on average, women adopt more conservative and diversified strategies, while men’s strategies aim for the greatest gains. Further, women’s strategies are more responsive to the competence measures, which suggests that they are less overconfident. Together these traits make women more successful players. These results are in line with earlier findings on gender and financial trading.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutet för social forskning (SOFI) , 2004. , 15 p.
Swedish Institute for Social Research, ISSN 0283-8222 ; 62
M50, M52, O33, O52, J71, J82, D80, J16
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-248ISBN: 91-7265-951-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-248DiVA: diva2:191497
2004-10-22, hörsal 4, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Anxo, Dominique, Professor
Wadensjö, Eskil, Professor
List of papers