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Sorting and wage premiums in immoral work


Schneider, Florian H; Brun, Fanny; Weber, Roberto A (2020). Sorting and wage premiums in immoral work. Working paper series / Department of Economics 353, University of Zurich.

Abstract

We use surveys, laboratory experiments and administrative labor-market data to study how heterogeneity in the perceived immorality of work and in workers’ aversion to acting immorally interact to impact labor market outcomes. Specifically, we investigate whether those individuals least concerned with acting morally select into jobs generally perceived as immoral and whether the aversion among many individuals to performing such acts contributes to immorality wage premiums, a form of compensating differential. We show that immoral work is associated with higher wages, both using correlational evidence from administrative labor-market data and causal evidence from a laboratory experiment. We also measure individuals’ aversion to performing immoral acts and show that those who find immoral behavior least aversive are more likely to be employed in immoral work in the lab and have a relative preference for work perceived as immoral outside the laboratory. We note that sorting by “immoral” types into jobs that can cause harm may be detrimental for society. Our study highlights the value of employing complementary research methods.

Abstract

We use surveys, laboratory experiments and administrative labor-market data to study how heterogeneity in the perceived immorality of work and in workers’ aversion to acting immorally interact to impact labor market outcomes. Specifically, we investigate whether those individuals least concerned with acting morally select into jobs generally perceived as immoral and whether the aversion among many individuals to performing such acts contributes to immorality wage premiums, a form of compensating differential. We show that immoral work is associated with higher wages, both using correlational evidence from administrative labor-market data and causal evidence from a laboratory experiment. We also measure individuals’ aversion to performing immoral acts and show that those who find immoral behavior least aversive are more likely to be employed in immoral work in the lab and have a relative preference for work perceived as immoral outside the laboratory. We note that sorting by “immoral” types into jobs that can cause harm may be detrimental for society. Our study highlights the value of employing complementary research methods.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:C92, J31, D03
Uncontrolled Keywords:Wage premium, immoral behavior, sorting, experiments
Language:English
Date:June 2020
Deposited On:08 Jul 2020 12:02
Last Modified:08 Jul 2020 12:03
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:70
ISSN:1664-705X
OA Status:Green
Official URL:https://www.econ.uzh.ch/en/research/workingpapers.html?paper-id=1034

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