Labour Turnover and Labour Productivity in a Retail Organization
AbstractWe study the impact of labour turnover on labour productivity using a panel dataset of 347 shops belonging to a large UK clothing retailer over1995-1999. For the within-shop link – holding constant the shop’s permanent characteristics – we observe an inverted U-shape effect of labour turnover on productivity. The productivity-maximizing rates of FTE-adjusted quits and hires are each about 20% per year, improving productivity by 2.5% compared to the zero turnover level. We explain the difference between this optimal level of labour turnover and its observed average (quits and hires each around 10%) through the costs of hiring estimated at about £600 per hire. By contrast, between shops, there is a positive link between average rates of turnover and average productivity, suggesting that an unobservable management quality factor generates both high turnover and productivity, which we discuss.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2322.
Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Academy of Management Journal, 2009, 52 (2), 294-313
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- L81 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Retail and Wholesale Trade; e-Commerce
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2006-09-30 (Business Economics)
- NEP-EFF-2006-09-30 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-HRM-2006-09-30 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2006-09-30 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Meagher, Kieron J., 2001.
"The impact of hierarchies on wages,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 441-458, August.
- Simon Burgess & Julia Lane & David Stevens, 1996.
"Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning,"
Labor and Demography
- Daniel S. HAMERMESH & Wolter H. J. HASSINK & Jan C. VAN OURS, 1996.
"Job Turnover and Labor Turnover: A taxinomy of Employment Dynamics,"
Annales d'Economie et de Statistique,
ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 21-40.
- Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Hassink, Wolter H.J. & Ours, Jan C. van, 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.
- Hamermesh, D.S. & Hassink, W.H.J. & Ours, J.C. van, 1996. "Job turnover and labor turnover: A taxonomy of employment dynamics," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-86873, Tilburg University.
- G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992.
"The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry,"
NBER Working Papers
3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
- 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.
- 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.
- Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003.
"Managing With Style: The Effect Of Managers On Firm Policies,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208, November.
- Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
- James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003.
"Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
- James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kersley, Barbara & Martin, Christopher, 1997. "Productivity Growth, Participation and Communication," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 485-501, November.
- Bingley, Paul & Westergaard-Nielsen, Niels, 2004. "Personnel policy and profit," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 557-563, May.
- 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.
- Pekka Ilmakunnas & Mika Maliranta & Jari Vainiomaki, 2005. "Worker turnover and productivity growth," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(7), pages 395-398.
- Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992.
"Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
- Rick Audas & Tim Barmby & John Treble, 2004. "Luck, Effort, and Reward in an Organizational Hierarchy," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 379-396, April.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
- Ann P. Bartel, 2004. "Human resource management and organizational performance: Evidence from retail banking," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 181-203, January.
- 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.
- Qian, Yingyi, 1994. "Incentives and Loss of Control in an Optimal Hierarchy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 527-44, July.
- Mark N. Harris & Kam-Ki Tang & Yi-Ping Tseng, 2002. "Optimal Employee Turnover Rate: Theory and Evidence," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n19, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.