Imagine.. seminar by Lasse Steiner
THE HAPPY ARTIST? AN EMPIRICAL APPLICATION OF THE WORK-PREFERENCE MODEL*
The artistic labor market is marked by several adversities, such as low wages, above-average unemployment, and constrained underemployment. Nevertheless, it attracts many young people. The number of students exceeds the available jobs by far. A potential explanation for this puzzle is that artistic work might result in exceptionally high job satisfaction, a conjecture that has been mentioned at various times in the literature.
We conduct the first direct empirical investigation of artists’ job satisfaction. The analysis is based on panel data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Survey (SOEP). Artists on average are found to be considerably more satisfied with their work than non-artists, a finding that corroborates the conjectures in the literature. Differences in income, working hours, and personality cannot account for the observed difference in job satisfaction. Partially, but not fully, the higher job satisfaction can be attributed to the higher self-employment rate among artists.
Suggestive evidence is found that superior “procedural” characteristics of artistic work, such as increased variety and on-the-job learning, contribute to the difference in job satisfaction.
JEL Classifications: Z10, J24, J28, J31,
Keywords: job satisfaction, artists, work-preference, cultural economics
Lasse Steiner is a PhD student at the Department of Economics of the University of Zurich. He studied at the University of Konstanz and the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. His research focuses on cultural economics, eg. the political economy of UNESCO world heritage, museum pricing and job satisfaction of artists.
*For helpful suggestions, we are indebted to Bruno S. Frey, Reto Cueni, Christoph Engel, Margit Osterloh, and Trine Bille. ** Research Economist at the University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Wilfriedstrasse 6, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** Research
Economist at the University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Wilfriedstrasse 6, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail: email@example.com
Please register to : firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 01th of March.
The seminar is free of charge and for everyone who might be interested - academics or practitioners alike.
Imagine.. is a research centre at Copenhagen Business School. imagine.. conducts research on the experience economy and organization of creativity in firms, projects and networks.
Please contact Trine Bille for further information. email@example.com
Copenhagen Business School
Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics
Kilevej 14A, 3. floor, DK-2000 Frederiksberg