Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

July 11, 2013

Why are poor people more upbeat about working?

WASHINGTON — A new research method using a smartphone app reveals that people are often stressed out and miserable at work, according to The Wall Street Journal. This doesn't exactly shock me. After all, there's a reason people get paid salaries to work. But I wish the coverage had dwelled longer on this point from the very last paragraph in the Journal article:            

             

               Respondents with very low incomes tended to have a much less negative reaction to work. That may be, Mr. Bryson said, because their options outside work "are not very nice. . . . In that sense, they may as well be working."      

               

I suppose it's true that very poor people have less attractive leisure options than middle-class people. But at the same time, very low wages seem to me to be correlated with jobs that are unpleasant in other ways. In the United States, at least, the labor force participation rate is correlated with education - which I'd always taken to be a reflection of the superior labor market options available to people who qualify for higher-paid, higher-status jobs. One possibility that comes to find is that this is simply a spurious result generated by some kind of flawed research method. But if not, it deserves more investigation.

               

 Yglesias, author of "The Rent Is Too Damn High," is Slate's business and economics correspondent.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page