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Employer learning and the returns to schooling

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  • Bauer, Thomas K.
  • Haisken-DeNew, John P.

Abstract

We examine the dynamic role of education and experience as determinants of wages. It is hypothesized that an employee's education is an important signal to the employer initially. Over time, the returns to schooling should decrease with labour market experience and increase with initially unobserved ability, since the employer gradually obtains better information on the productivity of an employee. Replicating US studies using data from a large German panel data set (GSOEP), we find no evidence for the employer learning hypothesis for Germany. Differentiating blue-collar and white-collar workers and estimating quantile regressions, however, leads to the conclusion that employer learning takes place for blue-collar workers at the lower end of the wage distribution. We further show that information on the productivity of an employee is to a large extent private.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 161-180

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:8:y:2001:i:2:p:161-180

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  1. Bauer, Thomas K. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2001. "Employer learning and the returns to schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 161-180, May.
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  19. Denise J. Doiron, 1995. "Lay-Offs as Signals: The Canadian Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 899-913, November.
  20. John Mullahy, 1999. "Interaction Effects and Difference-in-Difference Estimation in Loglinear Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  22. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  23. Grund, Christian, 1999. "Stigma effects of layoffs?: Evidence from German micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 241-247, August.
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