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Job Search and Impatience

Stefano DellaVigna () and M. Daniele Paserman

Journal of Labor Economics, 2005, vol. 23, issue 3, 527-588

Abstract: Workers who are more impatient search less intensively and set lower reservation wages. The effect of impatience on exit rates from unemployment is therefore unclear. If agents have exponential time preferences, the reservation wage effect dominates for sufficiently patient individuals, so increases in impatience lead to higher exit rates. The opposite is true for agents with hyperbolic time preferences. Using two large longitudinal data sets, we find that impatience measures are negatively correlated with search effort and the unemployment exit rate and are orthogonal to reservation wages. Impatience substantially affects outcomes in the direction predicted by the hyperbolic model.

Date: 2005
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