Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Compensating Variations and Job Search:
Maids in Dubai

The Emirates Economist links to an article in the Gulf News, telling us that many ex-patriate maids in Dubai specifically advertise that they would like to work for American or British families. Or maybe even European. Or possibily Chinese or Indian.

Many housemaids are now expressing a preference for one nationality or another in personal adverts that are on display in some of Dubai's shops. For example, there is the "experienced maid" who is seeking "immediate employment with accommodation from a European family".

... "Some of the families from other countries pay you less salary but make you work harder," ... Francesca, who is currently in the UAE on a visit visa, said she would also happily work for a Chinese family, having spent 16 years employed by one in the past. Radhika, 45, a Sri Lankan maid, said she preferred working with British, European and even Indian families because they treated maids well.
The article does not say that they would not like to work for Arab families. The first comment on his posting explains one reason they might not want to, though.

If, for whatever reason, one set of working conditions is less desireable than another might be, it is not at all surprising that workers would spend more time searching for the more desireable positions, ceteris paribus, rather than accept immediately available work with poorer working conditions.
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