Frustration at Work? The Case for Subsidizing Career Changes
Areti Theofilopoulou (University of Hong Kong), Tom Parr (University of Essex)

May 17, 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong
Hong Kong

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Tuesday May 17, 2022, 5pm HK Time (10am BST), Zoom only

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Many individuals experience frustration with their work. In some cases, this is due to the conditions of their work. In other cases, the source of their frustration is that they believe they should have chosen to do something very different with their time. Our aim is to explore these important but neglected cases in which individuals feel trapped in their work. Our conclusion is that the complaints to which these concerns give rise are valid ones, and that governments have a duty to lower the social and economic costs of changing careers. This may seem controversial, as the preference to change one’s career appears to be an expensive taste. One response to this worry is that career changes may bring net social benefits, rather than costs, through higher productivity. This response, however, depends on empirical contingencies. In this paper, we advance an argument that does not depend on such contingencies.

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