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Journal Article

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


Publication date

Mar 2017


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.

Published in

Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization

Volume and page numbers

135 , 215 -228





Psychology, Sociology Of Labour, Labour Market, Unemployment, Wages And Earnings, and Well Being


University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* -

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