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Returns to Tenure or Seniority?

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Author Info

  • Buhai, Sebastian

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

  • Portela, Miguel

    ()
    (University of Minho)

  • Teulings, Coen

    ()
    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Analysis)

  • van Vuuren, Aico

    ()
    (Free University)

Abstract

This study documents two empirical regularities, using data for Denmark and Portugal. First, workers who are hired last, are the first to leave the firm (Last In, First Out; LIFO). Second, workers' wages rise with seniority (= a worker's tenure relative to the tenure of her colleagues). We seek to explain these regularities by developing a dynamic model of the firm with stochastic product demand and hiring cost (= irreversible specific investments). There is wage bargaining between a worker and its firm. Separations (quits or layoffs) obey the LIFO rule and bargaining is efficient (a zero surplus at the moment of separation). The LIFO rule provides a stronger bargaining position for senior workers, leading to a return to seniority in wages. Efficiency in hiring requires the workers’bargaining power to be in line with their share in the cost of specific investment. Then, the LIFO rule is a way to protect their property right on the specific investment. We consider the e¤ects of Employment Protection Legislation and risk aversion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 08-1.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2008_001

Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx
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Keywords: irreversible investment; efficient bargaining; seniority; LIFO;

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References

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  1. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
  2. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Income variance dynamics and heterogenity," IFS Working Papers W01/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Peter Kuhn & Jacques Robert, 1988. "Seniority and Distribution in a Two-Worker Trade Union," Working Papers 615, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  6. Sebastian Buhai & Coen N. Teulings, 2005. "Tenure Profiles and Efficient Separation in a Stochastic Productivity Model," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-099/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 03 Oct 2006.
  7. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005. "Do wages rise with job seniority? A reassessment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
  8. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  9. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  10. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  13. Kuhn, Peter, 1988. "A Nonuniform Pricing Model of Union Wages and Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 473-508, June.
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  17. Moshe Buchinsky & Denis Foug�re & Francis Kramarz & Rusty Tchernis, 2010. "Interfirm Mobility, Wages and the Returns to Seniority and Experience in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(3), pages 972-1001.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anja Deelen, 2012. "Wage-Tenure Profiles and Mobility," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 141-155, June.
  2. Lans Bovenberg & Coen N. Teulings, 2007. "Rhineland exit?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 07-101/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  3. Paulo Bastos & Natália P. Monteiro, 2011. "Managers and Wage Policies," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(4), pages 957-984, December.
  4. Coen Teulings, 2010. "How to Share Our Risks Efficiently? Principles for Optimal Social Insurance and Pension Provision," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 1-21, April.
  5. Fernando Alexandre & Miguel Portela & Carla Sá, 2008. "Admission conditions and graduates' employability," NIPE Working Papers 16/2008, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  6. Elena Cottini & Paolo Ghinetti, 2012. "Working Conditions, Lifestyles and Health," Economics Working Papers 2012-28, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  7. Anja Deelen, 2011. "Wage-Tenure Profiles and Mobility," CPB Discussion Paper 198, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  8. von Below, David & Thoursie, Peter, 2008. "Last in, first out? Estimating the effect of seniority rules in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2008:27, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.

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