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The upside of pessimism − Biased beliefs and the paradox of the contented female worker

Chris Dawson

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2017, vol. 135, issue C, 215-228

Abstract: Both sexes display inaccuracies in estimating their labour market prospects, but in different directions. Consistent with the literature on sex differences in psychological bias, females are less optimistic than men and on average tend to be overly pessimistic. Optimism, measured as an upwardly biased perception of the labour market returns distribution, increases the likelihood of disappointment with realized performance. A substantial proportion of the female job satisfaction advantage appears to be associated with both overly pessimistic female expectations and overly optimistic male expectations. The implications of female pessimism on both job-search and gender earnings differentials is also discussed.

Keywords: Optimism; Wage expectations; Job satisfaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D84 J28 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.02.004

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:135:y:2017:i:c:p:215-228