Victims of bullying are likely to earn lower than average wages, according to research to be published in the International Journal of Manpower.
The study, led by Dr Nick Drydakis of Anglia Ruskin University, found that childhood bullying can lead to significant economic implications later in life.
On average, victims of bullying earned 2.1 per cent less than the average wage, were 3.3 per cent less likely to be in employment, and were 4.1 per cent less likely to be participating in the labour market (either in employment or actively looking for work).
The sample consisted of 7,500 respondents, aged between 18 and 65, who took part in the Greek Behavioural Study, with 8.4 per cent of the respondents admitting to have been bullied on a frequent or constant basis.
The study discovered a negative correlation between bullying and human capital, with those who experienced bullying as a child 18.5 per cent less likely to have a higher education degree or advanced IT and language skills.
It also found that gays, lesbians, immigrants and men are more negatively affected by bullying in terms of labour force participation, employment rate and wages.
For instance, gay and lesbian people who experienced bullying as a child face 12.4 per cent lower wages, immigrants face 4.1 per cent lower wages and men face 6.1 per cent lower wages.
Dr Drydakis, a senior lecturer in economics at Anglia Ruskin, said: “Individuals without a history of being bullied have a higher probability of participating in the labour force, being employed, and receiving higher wages.
“On the other hand, individuals who experienced a serious intensity of bullying face the most statistically significant negative effects in terms of lower participation in the labour force, lower employment rates, and lower hourly wages.
“Most economic literature on the determination of wages has concentrated on traditional human capital variables, such as education and skills.
“However, as the effects of bullying may affect individuals’ employment future, bullying should be of greater interest to economists.”
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