People Hate Working  

A blog about business and economics.
July 11 2013 12:15 PM

Why Are Poor People More Upbeat About Working?

This new research methodm which reveals that people are often stressed out and miserable at work, 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:

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.”
Advertisement

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.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

Republicans Like Scott Walker Are Building Campaigns Around Problems That Don’t Exist

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter

The Best Way to Organize Your Fridge

The World

Iran and the U.S. Are Allies

They just aren’t ready to admit it yet.

Sports Nut

Giving Up on Goodell

How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.

Chief Justice John Roberts Says $1,000 Can’t Buy Influence in Congress. Looks Like He’s Wrong.

How Steven Moffat Made the Best Doctor Who Episode in Years

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 1:58 PM Democrats Baffled by New Benghazi Whistleblower's Accusations
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 16 2014 1:23 PM Germany Has Asked Google to Reveal Its Search Algorithm, but That's Not Going to Happen
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 1:27 PM The Veronica Mars Spinoff Is Just Amusing Enough to Keep Me Watching
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 1:48 PM Why We Need a Federal Robotics Commission
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 16 2014 1:39 PM The Case of the Missing Cerebellum How did a Chinese woman live 24 years missing part of her brain?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.