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Fast track: is it in the genes? The promotion policy of a large Japanese firm

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  • Ariga, Kenn
  • Ohkusa, Yasushi
  • Brunello, Giorgio

Abstract

This paper studies the promotion policy of a large, hi-tech manufacturing Japanese firm. We find that the company has multiple ports of entry and hires a significant number of employees with previous job experience. In addition, cohort-peer differentiation in promotion starts much earlier than predicted by the common view, and there are clear signs of fast-track effects, so that individuals promoted faster earlier are more likely to be promoted faster later on. Fast-track effects are not in the genes, because they survive even after controlling for time-invariant individual effects, such as innate individual ability. The last result is difficult to justify using a pure learning model, where ability is time invariant, so that a richer learning model, incorporating, say, human capital considerations, is clearly required.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 38 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 385-402

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:38:y:1999:i:4:p:385-402

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  1. Farber, Henry S & Gibbons, Robert, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-47, November.
  2. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
  3. Prendergast, Canice, 1992. "Career development and specific human capital collection," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 207-227, September.
  4. Ariga, Kenn & Brunello, Giorgio & Ohkusa, Yasushi, 1997. "Promotions, Skill Formation, and Earnings Growth in a Corporate Hierarchy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 347-384, September.
  5. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
  6. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1998. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics in Internal Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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