Nachum Sicherman

Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?

Coauthor(s): George Loewenstein.


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We present survey data challenging the assumption implicit in analyses of labor supply that, all else being equal, workers prefer declining over increasing wage profiles. We test several explanations for our results, including that (a) there is something special about wages (e.g., their association with productivity), as opposed to other types of payments, that induces the preference for increasing wages; (b) utility depends not only on absolute levels of consumption but also on changes in consumption over time; and (c) respondents who prefer increasing wage profiles are irrational and would change their behavior if the rationale for preferring declining wages were explained.

Source: Journal of Labor Economics
Exact Citation:
Loewenstein, George, and Nachum Sicherman. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?" Journal of Labor Economics 9, no. 1 (January 1991): 67-84.
Volume: 9
Number: 1
Pages: 67-84
Date: 1 1991
Descriptors: Labor and Demographic Economics