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Ability and Employer Learning: Evidence from the Economist Labor Market

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  • Oyer, Paul

    (Stanford U)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 1961.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1961

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Postal: Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015
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References

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  1. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1994. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 707, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 1997. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 6279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Katz, Lawrence & Gibbons, Robert & Lemieux, Thomas & Parent, Daniel, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Scholarly Articles 2766651, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. 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.
  7. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Conley, John P. & Önder, Ali Sina & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Are all High-Skilled Cohorts Created Equal? Unemployment, Gender, and Research Productivity," Working Paper Series 2012:13, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Timothy Perri, 2012. "Between the penthouse and the outhouse: the sorting of economics professors," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(18), pages 1899-1902, December.
  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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