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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.
LanguageEnglish
Pages215-228
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
Volume135
Early online date3 Feb 2017
DOIs
StatusPublished - Mar 2017

Fingerprint

Paradox
Pessimism
Workers
Labour market
Earnings differentials
Optimism
Market returns
Sex differences
Job search
Job satisfaction
Proportion
Disappointment
Psychological
Return distribution

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Optimism
  • wage expectations
  • job satisfaction

Cite this

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title = "The upside of pessimism − Biased beliefs and the paradox of the contented female worker",
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.",
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