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Worker Churning and Firms’ Wage Policies

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  • Pedro S. Martins

Abstract

If a random firm were to increase its wages, would that decrease the firm’s churning (“excessive” worker reallocation)? Although the trade-off between wage and churning costs has received attention in both the labour and HRM literatures, there seems to be no evidence about the causal impact of wages upon churning. This paper seeks to fill that gap by considering detailed Portuguese matched employer-employee panel data and different identification methods. After presenting comprehensive evidence about job and worker flows and churning, we find that even models based on within-firm time differences do still generate the negative association between wages and turnover found in most research. However, that result no longer holds when we consider instrumental variables based on minimum wages determined by collective bargaining arrangements. One possible interpretation of our finding is that workers’ effort may not be sufficiently sensitive to wages: employers may replace workers priced out of the labour market with more skilled individuals, so that churning does not fall.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research in its series Working Papers with number 13.

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Date of creation: May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:13

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Keywords: Worker Turnover; Endogeneity; Personnel Economics; Efficiency Wages;

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  1. Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 1995. "Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning," CEPR Discussion Papers 1125, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Lane, Julia & Stevens, David & Burgess, Simon, 1996. "Worker and job flows," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 109-113, April.
  3. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962, August.
  4. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta, 2005. "Worker inflow, outflow, and churning," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(10), pages 1115-1133.
  5. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  6. David E. Guest & Jonathan Michie & Neil Conway & Maura Sheehan, 2003. "Human Resource Management and Corporate Performance in the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 291-314, 06.
  7. Burgess, Simon & Lane, Julia & Stevens, David, 2001. "Churning dynamics: an analysis of hires and separations at the employer level," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 1-14, January.
  8. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1996. "The Entry and Exit of Workers and the Growth of Employment: An Analysis of French Establishments," NBER Working Papers 5551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ana Rute Cardoso & Pedro Portugal, 2005. "Contractual Wages and the Wage Cushion under Different Bargaining Settings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 875-902, October.
  10. Hamermesh, D.S. & Hassink, W.H.J. & Ours, J.C., 1994. "Job turnover and labor turnover : a taxonomy of employment dynamics," Serie Research Memoranda 0050, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  11. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Richard Duhautois & Fabrice Gilles & Héloïse Petit, 2012. "Worker flows and establishment wage differentials : a breakdown of the relationship," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00833872, HAL.
  2. Pedro S. Martins, 2014. "30,000 minimum wages: The economic effects of collective agreement extensions," Working Papers 51, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00593952 is not listed on IDEAS

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