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Repeated Job Quits: Stepping Stones or Learning about Quality?

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  • Gielen, Anne C.

    ()
    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

Abstract

Despite the fact that worker quits are often associated with wage gains and higher overall job satisfaction, many workers quit once again within one or two years after changing jobs initially. Such repeated job quit behavior may arise as a stepping stone to better quality jobs (Burdett, 1978) or as a response to unexpectedly low job quality (Jovanovic, 1979). This paper tests the validity of both explanations using data from the UK labor market in order to improve our understanding of job search behavior. Results from panel estimations of job quits and job satisfaction illustrate that the labor market is characterized by elements of both explanations. More specifically, a variance decomposition shows that the stepping stone model explains 80 percent of repeated job quit behavior; the remaining 20 percent is the result of learning about job quality. Hence, workers appear to need several job quits to find their most preferred job and multiple job quits serve as a stepping stone to more satisfaction at work.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3838.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, 2013, 2:7 [open access]
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3838

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Keywords: job satisfaction; labor mobility; job search;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Ponzo, Michela, 2010. "On-the-job search in Italian labour markets: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 25485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Adele Bergin, 2013. "Job Changes and Wage Changes: Estimation with Measurement Error in a Binary Variable," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n240-13.pdf, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  3. Ponzo, Michela, 2009. "On-the-job search in italian labour markets: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 24200, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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