Why Do We Work? Essay, Research Paper
The majority of Americans get up each morning and go to work in order to earn money. But what are the true motivators for working and where do they come from? How do wage rates and other forms of compensation affect the quantity of labor supplied to the market? This will point out how labor effects the economy. Each person working plays a role in society and production output. These are areas that need to be addressed when the supply of labor is being discussed.
The motivation to work arises from a variety of social, psychological and economic forces. People need income to pay their bills, feel that they have a role in society and also feel a sense of acheivement. Although there is always a choice, that is not working and not getting paid. People choose between labor and leisure according to the percieved rewards of each. The marginal utility of labor reflects the satisifaction to be gained from added income, as well as any direct pleasure a job may provide. A worker compares these satisfactions with those of leisure and chooses the one that yeilds the greatest utility for available time and wage rates.
As it may seem obvisous to some, the more a worker gets paid, the more encouragement that worker has to work more hours and produce more output. Thus, higher wages may increase the marginal utility of an hour’s labor, this being a substitiute for labor. But it can also have the opposite effect. This being that if a worker realizes that they can make the same amount of money that they used to make and work less, this will cause the labor-supply curve to begin to bend backward. The labor supply has proven more expandable than previously expected. Possibly attracted by the abundance of jobs or forced by economic necessity, there are more Americans working.
Not everyone works for money. A large percentage of workers say they would continue to work even if they had enough money to live comfortably without working. Apparently, each hour of work yields more satisfaction that just a paycheck. The more workers like their jobs or the more income they need, the higher their responsiveeness to wage increases. Another aspect of happiness from labor is the nonmonetary incentives the enviornment that is being worked in. People prefer to work in a safe, well lit, pleasantly colorful enviornment. Although these are not the only realative incentives. There is also the challenge of it all, not just high salaries. If a worker is given a conquerable challenge, this can also boost productivity.
In conclusion, there are many different reasons why we as Americans get up and go to work each morning. But, there will always be more to purchase, more bills to pay and a certain need to feel a part of society. To realize what needs to be improved to induce workers to choose work is still being studied. Economists have learned how to increase productivity or job satisifaction, but not both. Realizing what our true needs are can either motivate us to become more productive or do the opposite and cause us to work less.