Macroeconomic Conditions When Young Shape Job Preferences for Life

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-002/VII

43 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2021

See all articles by Maria Cotofan

Maria Cotofan

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Lea Cassar

University of Regensburg

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stephan Meier

Columbia University - Columbia Business School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 1, 2021

Abstract

Preferences for monetary and non-monetary job attributes are important for understanding workers' motivation and the organization of work. Little is known, however, about how those job preferences are formed. We study how macroeconomic conditions when young shape workers' job preferences for the rest of their life. Using variation in income-per-capita across US regions and over time since the 1920s, we find that job preferences vary in systematic ways with experienced macroeconomic conditions during young adulthood. Recessions create cohorts of workers who give higher priority to income, whereas booms make cohorts care more about job meaning, for the rest of their life.

Keywords: preferences for job attributes, experience, macroeconomic condition, generational difference

JEL Classification: M5, D9, E7

Suggested Citation

Cotofan, Maria and Cassar, Lea and Dur, Robert and Meier, Stephan, Macroeconomic Conditions When Young Shape Job Preferences for Life (January 1, 2021). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2021-002/VII, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3759877 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3759877

Maria Cotofan (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

Lea Cassar

University of Regensburg ( email )

93040 Regensburg
D-93040 Regensburg, 93053
Germany

Robert Dur

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Department of Economics ( email )

FEW / H 8-15
P.O. Box 1738
Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands
+31-10-4082159 (Phone)
+31-10-4089161 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.few.eur.nl/dur

Tinbergen Institute

Amsterdam/Rotterdam
Netherlands

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Stephan Meier

Columbia University - Columbia Business School ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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