Willingness to be Paid: Who Trains for Tech Jobs?

36 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2020

Date Written: February 5, 2020


Having a larger high-skill workforce is good for economic productivity, so it is useful to understand how workers self-select into high-paying technology jobs. This study examines how workers on the margin decide whether to pursue tech jobs, including a precise control for the opportunity cost of time. The most important determinant of the reservation wage for college students to do computer programming is whether they enjoy it or not. Another subjective influence, whether subjects like math or not, predicts self-confidence. Most students, including females and minorities, are willing to learn a new computer programming language, for a sufficiently high wage. Neither randomly assigned encouragement nor extra information on the programming task increases willingness to participate or increases confidence.

Keywords: Information Technology, skills, labor supply, experiments

JEL Classification: C91, J24, J22

Suggested Citation

Buchanan, Joy, Willingness to be Paid: Who Trains for Tech Jobs? (February 5, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3532834 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3532834

Joy Buchanan (Contact Author)

Samford University ( email )

800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States

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