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Views on preferred jobs and most important jobs differ

Jobs that generate positive spillovers have a greater value to society than they have to the individual who holds the job, while the opposite is true when spillovers are negative. Intuitively, many people have notions about such broader payoffs. When asked about their most preferred jobs, respondents in China, Colombia, Egypt, and Sierra Leone give different answers from those they offer when asked to identify the most important jobs to society. Working as a civil servant or as a shop owner is generally preferred by individuals, while teachers and doctors are quite often mentioned as the most important jobs for society.




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