Search Results

Author: Ingram, Donna M.
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Ingram, Donna M.
Learning About Yourself: Occupation Choice with Unknown Own-Preference
Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1990
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Bayesian; Job Knowledge; Job Tenure; Mobility, Job; Mobility, Occupational; Occupational Choice; Work Experience

In the years 1965 through 1970, thirty-nine percent of the adult males living in the United States changed their occupation at least once. Previous microeconomic research has attempted to explain these occupational changes by assuming that one or both of the following are true: workers enter occupations without knowing all of the characteristics of the occupations, or employers hire workers without knowing all the characteristics of the worker. This research is an analysis of an alternative source of the uncertainty: unknown own-preferences. In this case, even if a worker knows the characteristics of all occupations and the worker's productivity is known, the worker may change occupations as he learns about his preferences. Unobservable welfare effects are studied in a simple model with two occupations and a sole worker. Each occupation is described as a combination of leisure and income, where the worker's preferences are unknown and stochastic. It is found that a worker's expected lifetime utility increases as he becomes more certain of his preferences. It is also shown that the expected lifetime utility is convex in the worker's prior distribution of his preferences, continuous in it, and differentiable with respect to it. The NLSY provides job and occupation history data for individual workers. The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) provides descriptions of occupations. Results describe the way in which workers learn and suggest that workers are not pure bayesians.
Bibliography Citation
Ingram, Donna M. Learning About Yourself: Occupation Choice with Unknown Own-Preference. Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1990.