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Learning from experience or learning from others?: Inferring informal training from a human capital earnings function with matched employer-employee data

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  • Destré, Guillaume
  • Lévy-Garboua, Louis
  • Sollogoub, Michel

Abstract

A model of informal training which combines learning from own experience and learning from others is proposed in this paper. It yields a closed-form solution that revises Mincer-Jovanovic's [Mincer, J., Jovanovic, B., 1981. Labor mobility and wages. In: Rosen, S. (Ed.), Studies in Labor Markets. Chicago University Press, Chicago, pp. 21-64] treatment of tenure in the human capital earnings function. We estimate the structural parameters of this non-linear model on a large French cross-section with matched employer-employee data. We find that workers on average can learn from others 10% of their own human capital on entering one plant, and catch half of their learning from others' potential in just 2 years. The private marginal returns to education are declining with education as more educated workers have less to learn from others and share the social returns of their own education with their less qualified co-workers. The potential for learning from others on the job varies across jobs and establishments, and this provides a new distinction between imitation jobs and experience jobs. Workers in imitation jobs, who learn most from others, tend to have considerably longer tenure than workers in experience jobs. Although workers in experience jobs can learn little from others, we find that they learn a lot by themselves. We document several analogies between the imitation jobs/experience jobs "dualism" and the primary/secondary jobs and firms' dualism implied by the dual labor market theory. However, our binary classification of jobs depicts the data more closely than the dual theory categorization into primary-type and secondary-type establishments. Competition prevails between jobs and firms but jobs differ by their learning technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 919-938

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:37:y:2008:i:3:p:919-938

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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References

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  1. Green, Francis & Ashton, David & Felstead, Alan, 2001. "Estimating the Determinants of Supply of Computing, Problem-Solving, Communication, Social, and Teamworking Skills," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 406-33, July.
  2. William T. Dickens & Kevin Lang, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," NBER Working Papers 1314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  4. Pedro Martins & Jim Jin, 2010. "Firm-level social returns to education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 539-558, March.
  5. Harminder Battu & Clive R. Belfield & Peter J. Sloane, 2003. "Human Capital Spillovers within the Workplace: Evidence for Great Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(5), pages 575-594, December.
  6. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  8. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
  9. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  10. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt.
  11. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  12. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1979. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Working Papers 0357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
  14. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Burak Beyhan, 2011. "Spatial Characteristics of Labor Mobility and Innovation inside an Industrial Cluster: Some Reflections from Siteler in Ankara," ERSA conference papers ersa10p421, European Regional Science Association.

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