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Ability and employer learning: Evidence from the economist labor market

In: Organizational Innovation and Firm Performance

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  • Paul Oyer

Abstract

I study the human capital development and firm-worker matching processes for PhD economists. This group is useful for this purpose because the types of jobs they hold can be easily categorized and they have an observable productivity measure (that is, publications). I derive a two-period model to motivate an empirical analysis of economist job matching upon graduation, matching ten years later, and productivity in the first ten years. I show that matching to a higher ranked institution affects productivity. I present evidence that employers improve their estimates of economists' ability early in their career in a way that determines longer-term job placement. I also find that the initial placement of economists to institutions does not show much evidence of systematic misallocation along observable characteristics. J. Japanese Int. Economies 22 (2) (2008) 268-289.

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This chapter was published in:

  • George Baker & Takeo Hoshi & Hideshi Itoh & Sadao Nagaoka, 2008. "Organizational Innovation and Firm Performance," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bake08-1, May.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12177.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12177

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning And Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350, February.
    2. Yonmin Chen & Terra Mckinnish, 2005. "Do Economics Departments Search Optimally in Faculty Recruiting?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 676-688, July.
    3. Valerie Smeets & Frédèric warzynski & Tom Coupé, 2006. "Does the Academic Labor Market Initially Allocate New Graduates Efficiently?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 161-172, Summer.
    4. Paul Oyer, 2006. "The Making of an Investment Banker: Macroeconomic Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income," NBER Working Papers 12059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
    6. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1994. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 707, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
    8. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-35, CIRANO.
    9. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-72, June.
    10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
    11. Paul Oyer, 2006. "Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 143-160, Summer.
    12. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "A Market Equilibrium Theory of Job Assignment and Sequential Accumulation of Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1038-55, December.
    13. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
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    Cited by:
    1. John P. Conley & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Are all High-Skilled Cohorts Created Equal? Unemployment, Gender, and Research Productivity," Working Papers 2012.86, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Timothy Perri, 2011. "Between the Penthouse and the Outhouse: The Sorting of Economics Professors," Working Papers 11-13, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    3. Nakabayashi, Masaki, 2011. "Schooling, employer learning, and internal labor market effect: Wage dynamics and human capital investment in the Japanese steel industry, 1930-1960s," MPRA Paper 30597, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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