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Quitting Externalities with Uncertainty about Future Productivity

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  • Booth, Alison L
  • Zoega, Gylfi

Abstract

This paper looks at the effect of quitting on the number of workers trained under conditions of uncertainty about future productivity when workers have both firm-specific and industry-specific skills. A new effect is found which works in the opposite direction to the undertraining result of Stevens (1994, 1995): A high quit rate makes investment in training less irreversible in the presence of firing costs and hence also less risky. This effect makes firms start hiring new workers at a lower level of productivity and hire more workers for a given increase in productivity. A rise in the quit rate can now either decrease or increase the number of trained workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1360.

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Date of creation: Mar 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1360

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Keywords: Quitting Externalities; Uncertainty; Under-investment;

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