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On-the-Job Specific Training and Efficient Screening

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  • Bac, Mehmet

Abstract

Employment relationships are governed by short-term incomplete contracts and typically involve on-the-job screening and firm-specific training. This article studies a dynamic employment relationship with these features and identifies a potential conflict between the employer's twin objectives to screen and train the worker: when the training technology is quite productive, the employer may have to sacrifice from worker performance during the screening process. The article thus offers an explanation for why firms may invest suboptimally on training, which complements the standard "inappropriable rents" explanation based on ex post mobility of young employees. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 681-701

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:4:p:681-701

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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References

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  1. Malcomson, J.M., 1997. "Contracts, hold-up and labor markets," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9703, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  2. Eng Loh, 1994. "Employment probation as a sorting mechanism," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 471-486, April.
  3. Dominique Demougin & Aloysius Siow, 1992. "Careers in Ongoing Hierarchies," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 5, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  4. Acemoglu, D. & Pischki, J.S., 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," Working papers 96-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Michael Waldman, 1983. "Job Assignments, Signalling nad Efficiency," UCLA Economics Working Papers 286, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Bac, Mehmet, 2001. "To invest or screen efficiently: a potential conflict in relationships governed by incomplete contracts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 567-588, March.
  9. 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.
  10. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
  11. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  12. Greenwald, Bruce C, 1986. "Adverse Selection in the Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 325-47, July.
  13. Abe Yukiko, 1994. "Specific Capital, Adverse Selection, and Turnover: A Comparison of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 272-292, September.
  14. Bac, Mehmet, 1993. "Opportunism and the Dynamics of Incomplete Contracts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 663-83, August.
  15. Mehmet Bac, 1997. "Bilateral Relationships Governed by Incomplete Contracts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(2), pages 320-, June.
  16. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
  17. Bac, Mehmet & Saglam, Ismail, 1999. "Managerial defections, promotion criteria and firm growth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 917-940, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Mehmet Bac & Serife Genc, 2009. "The French first employment contract: efficient screening device or Kleenex contract?," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 98(1), pages 77-88, September.
  2. Pinoli, Sara, 2008. "Screening ex-ante or screening on-the-job? The impact of the employment contract," MPRA Paper 11429, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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