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The role of specific and general human capital after displacement

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  • Ben Kriechel
  • Gerard Pfann

Abstract

Displaced workers experience significant and long-lasting wage losses. However, the average wage losses hide the tremendous differences among workers. So far, the differences are explained by differences in accumulated on-the-job experience, education level, age, and so on, but a large variation among similar workers remain. In this paper we investigate the effect of general and specific human capital on the unemployment duration and wage losses during the first three years following displacement. Information on the specificity of a job or function allows us to quantify the impact on the wage losses. We are able to rank positions in terms of the specificity of accumulated human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 223-236

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:13:y:2005:i:2:p:223-236

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Related research

Keywords: Displacement; unemployment duration; sorting; heterogeneity;

References

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  1. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  2. Pfann, Gerard A & Ben Kriechel, 2003. "Heterogeneity among Displaced Workers," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 164, Royal Economic Society.
  3. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  5. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1989. "Layoffs and Lemons," Working Papers 629, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  7. Topel, Robert, 1990. "Specific capital and unemployment: Measuring the costs and consequences of job loss," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 181-214, January.
  8. Dohmen, Thomas & Kriechel, Ben & Pfann, Gerard A., 2003. "Monkey Bars and Ladders: The Importance of Lateral and Vertical Job Mobility in Internal Labor Market Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 867, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Parsons, Donald O, 1972. "Specific Human Capital: An Application to Quit Rates and Layoff Rates," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(6), pages 1120-43, Nov.-Dec..
  10. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  11. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  12. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  14. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lamo, Ana & Messina, Julián & Wasmer, Etienne, 2011. "Are specific skills an obstacle to labor market adjustment?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 240-256, April.
  2. Teixeira, Aurora A.C. & Tavares-Lehmann, Ana Teresa, 2014. "Human capital intensity in technology-based firms located in Portugal: Does foreign ownership matter?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 737-748.
  3. Beker, Victor A., 2012. "A case study on trade liberalization: Argentina in the 1990s," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-3, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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