Labor Market Discrimination

and Nonpecuniary Work Rewards, in Surveys of Consumers 1972 ~ 73, Contributions to Behavioral Economics, Ann Arbor: The Institute for Social Research, 1975.

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While wage and salary income is the most important payment that an individual receives from his job, it is not the only one. Fringe benefits such as paid vacation, sick days, insurance plans, and the like are provided by most employers. Their importance is not insignificant—a recent survey has shown that these benefits amounted to about one-quarter of total payroll outlays.t Beyond these pecuniary benefits are the more difficult to quantify “nonpecuniary” benefits, such as job security, freedom to accept or reject overtime work, flexibility of the job assignment, and healthy and safe working conditions. These nonmonetary rewards are components of total earnings, since it is reasonable to think of workers as being willing to give up a job with higher income for one with more of these nonmonetary benefits. Additional but more ambiguous benefits can be included if one adopts the more normative viewpoint that work should be meaningful and challenging to the worker. Job autonomy and variety are examples of these benefits.

-Duncan, Greg, and Cowan, Charles D.

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