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Growing Old Together: Firm Survival and Employee Turnover

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  • Quintin Erwan

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

  • Stevens John J.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

Labor market outcomes such as turnover and earnings are correlated with employer characteristics, even after controlling for observable differences in worker characteristics. We argue that this systematic relationship constitutes strong evidence in favor of models where workers choose how much to invest in future productivity. Because employer characteristics are correlated with firm survival, returns to these investments vary across firm types. We describe a dynamic general equilibrium model where workers employed in firms more likely to survive choose to devote more time to productivity-enhancing activities, and therefore have a steeper earnings-tenure profile. Our model also predicts that quit rates should be lower in firms more likely to survive, and should tend to fall during slow times, while job destruction rates should rise. These predictions, we argue, are borne out by the existing empirical evidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 1-32

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.5:y:2005:i:1:n:21

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  1. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  3. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Erwan Quintin & John J. Stevens, 2005. "Raising the bar for models of turnover," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
  6. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  7. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1987. "Employer Size: The Implications for Search, Training, Capital Investment, Starting Wages, and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 76-89, January.
  8. Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1995. "The transfer of human capital," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(5-7), pages 1033-1064.
  9. Atkenson, Andrew & Khan, Aubhik & Ohanian, Lee, 1996. "Are data on industry evolution and gross job turnover relevant for macroeconomics?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 215-239, June.
  10. Hamermesh, Daniel S & Pfann, Gerard A, 1996. "Turnover and the Dynamics of Labour Demand," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(251), pages 359-67, August.
  11. Nickell, Stephen & Layard, Richard, 1999. "Labor market institutions and economic performance," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 46, pages 3029-3084 Elsevier.
  12. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  13. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "How Well Do We Measure Training?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 507-28, July.
  14. David N. DeJong & Beth F. Ingram, 2001. "The Cyclical Behavior of Skill Acquisition," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 536-561, July.
  15. Bruce Fallick & Charles A. Fleischman, 2004. "Employer-to-employer flows in the U.S. labor market: the complete picture of gross worker flows," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Cited by:
  1. Erwan Quintin & John J. Stevens, 2005. "Raising the bar for models of turnover," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Erwan Quintin & John J. Stevens, 2003. "Firm specific human capital vs. job matching: a new test," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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