The impact of psychological and human capital on wages

  • Goldsmith A
  • Veum J
  • Darity W
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Abstract

Historically, economists have taken the position that psychological capital is either unobservable or immeasurable; thus, heretofore, little evidence has been available on the contribution of psychological capital to wages. Using data drawn from two different waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we offer evidence that psychological capital has both a direct effect—via self-esteem—and an indirect effect—through locus of control—on an individual's real wage. We find a person s wage is more sensitive to changes in self-esteem than to comparable alterations in human capital. Both relative wages and human capital contribute to self-esteem.

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