Cross-sectional earnings risk and occupational sorting: The role of risk attitudes

H. Bonin, T.J. Dohmen*, A. Falk, D. Huffman, U. Sunde

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper investigates to what extent individuals' risk preferences are correlated with the cross-sectional earnings risk of their occupation. We exploit data from the german socio-economic panel, which contains a direct survey question about willingness to take risks that has been shown to be a behaviorally valid measure of risk aversion. As a measure of earnings risk, we use the cross-sectional variation in earnings that is left unexplained by human capital variables in mincerian wage regressions. Our evidence shows that individuals with low willingness to take risks are more likely to work in occupations with low earnings risk. This pattern is found regardless of the level of occupation categories, region, gender and labor market experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-937
Number of pages12
JournalLabour Economics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

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