The Role of Pay and Market Pay Variability in Job Application Decisions

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


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Journal/Book/Conference Title

Organizational behavior and human decision processes

DOI of Published Version


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The influence of pay and 3 other attributes on job application decisions are examined under 2 sets of market conditions. The relative veracity of 2 competing models on how individuals process information about multiple attributes in arriving at job choice decisions is considered. Most previous studies have assumed that individuals evaluate job attributes in a compensatory fashion. Perhaps the most important reason for examining noncompensatory models in the job choice context is that they have been explicitly hypothesized and allegedly observed in the economics literature. Also considered is the potential importance of labor market parameters in job search and choice decisions. Two principal findings emerge from the present research: 1. Job application decisions seem to be influenced in several ways by parameters of the market distribution confronted by the job seeker. 2. Decisions of whether or not to apply for job interviews frequently seem to be made on the basis of noncompensatory decision rules. Each of these findings suggest several methodological cautions with regard to future job choice research. The contention of institutional labor economists that the role of any given attribute in job choice is a function of its variability was supported in at least 2 ways.

Published Article/Book Citation

Organizational behavior and human decision processes, 31:3 (1983) pp.353

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