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Two Sided-Learning with Applications to Labour Turnover and Worker Displacement

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  • Gerard A. Pfann

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

    ()
    (University of Texas at Austin)

Abstract

Wemake several extensions to the recent literature on job loss whilemodernizing the very early job-displacement literature. After constructing a dynamicmodel of two-sided learning between a firm and its workers, we estimate it using personnel data from Fokker Aircraft that cover the path of layoffs and quits through its bankruptcy in March 1996. We find that the firm learns about workers’ loyalty (demonstrating the role of information in repeated cooperative principal-agent relationships), while workers do not learn (consistent with earlier empirical results on American workers). The type of data that we use also generates information on the value of learning and on whether and how the characteristics of workers who remain until the firm’s death differ from those of all affected workers. It thus allows us to measure the increases in the firm’s value from learning about its workers’ behavior and to infer the extent of biases in estimating losses from displacement from samples restricted to displaced workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 228 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5+6 (December)
Pages: 423-445

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Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:228:y:2008:i:5-6:p:423-445

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Related research

Keywords: Learning; job loss; quits; layoffs;

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References

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  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 1997. "Employer learning and statistical discrimination," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Patrick Francois & Joanne Roberts, 2003. "Contracting Productivity Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 59-85, January.
  3. Farber, Henry S & Gibbons, Robert, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-47, November.
  4. Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "A review of the recent empirical literature on displaced workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 5-16, October.
  5. Burda, Michael C. & Mertens, Antje, 1999. "Estimating wage losses of displaced workers in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1999,35, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  6. Kletzer, Lori Gladstein, 1989. "Returns to Seniority after Permanent Job Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 536-43, June.
  7. Radner, Roy, 1981. "Monitoring Cooperative Agreements in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1127-48, September.
  8. Pfann, Gerald A. & Verspagen, Bart, 1989. "The structure of adjustment costs for labour in the Dutch manufacturing sector," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 365-371.
  9. Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 2000. "Options to Quit," CEPR Discussion Papers 2563, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. 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.
  11. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  12. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-27, December.
  14. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-68, August.
  15. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1987. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 51-75, February.
  16. Hogan, Chad, 2001. "Enforcement of Implicit Employment Contracts through Unionization," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 171-95, January.
  17. Gerard A. Pfann, 2006. "Downsizing and Heterogeneous Firing Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 158-170, February.
  18. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1991. "A Theory of Quits and Layoffs with Efficient Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 1-29, February.
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