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Learning by Doing, Worker Turnover, and Productivity Dynamics

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  • Hyowook Chiang
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    Abstract

    Recent evidence based on longitudinal firm-level data suggests that within-firm productivity growth explains about 50 percent of total factor productivity growth in the manufacturing sector while net entry effects account for about 30 percent of total factor productivity growth. These two forces may be connected via learning by doing of young businesses. That is, the recent evidence also shows that young businesses that survive exhibit more rapid productivity growth than older incumbents. The idea that learning-by-doing is important and, in particular, important for young businesses is not novel to this paper. What is novel about this paper is that newly developed longitudinal employer-employee matched data are used to characterize and measure the nature of learning. In contrast to the existing literature on learning, this paper shows that learning is not only affected by past output, but also by worker turnover within firms. The basic idea is that firms with high worker turnover will make learning-by-doing more difficult. Using this approach, I estimate that firms with historically lower rates of turnover "learn" faster than those with higher turnover given the same amount of past outp

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings with number 593.

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    Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:593

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    Keywords: Learning by Doing; Worker Turnover; Productivity;

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    1. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. John Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Julia Lane & Paul Lengermann & Kristin McCue & Kevin McKinney & Kristin Sandusky, 2002. "The Relation among Human Capital, Productivity and Market Value: Building Up from Micro Evidence," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    4. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
    7. Jeffrey Campbell, 1998. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 371-408, April.
    8. Dale T. Mortensen & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1993. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," CEP Discussion Papers dp0110, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
    11. Hall, Peter & Horowitz, Joel L, 1996. "Bootstrap Critical Values for Tests Based on Generalized-Method-of-Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 891-916, July.
    12. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
    14. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
    15. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    16. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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