Motivated Optimism and Workplace Risk

68 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2022

See all articles by A. Yesim Orhun

A. Yesim Orhun

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Alain Cohn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information

Collin Raymond

Amherst College

Date Written: November 18, 2021

Abstract

We provide field evidence that individuals engage in motivated optimism in the face of impending risk, and that their belief distortions are time- and stake-dependent. Our study leverages exogenous variation in when people are required to return to their workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among workers currently staying at home, individuals who are temporally closer to returning to their workplace are relatively more optimistic about the increase in infection risk associated with going back. Temporal belief differences are larger for people who are more likely to get severely ill if infected.

JEL Classification: D84, D91, I12, J28

Suggested Citation

Orhun, A. Yesim and Cohn, Alain and Raymond, Collin, Motivated Optimism and Workplace Risk (November 18, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3966686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3966686

A. Yesim Orhun (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Alain Cohn

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - School of Information ( email )

304 West Hall
550 East University
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1092
United States

Collin Raymond

Amherst College ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States

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