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Human Capital and Career Success: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data

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  • Frederiksen, Anders

    ()
    (Aarhus University)

  • Kato, Takao

    ()
    (Colgate University)

Abstract

Denmark's registry data provide accurate and complete career history data along with detailed personal characteristics (e.g., education, gender, work experience, tenure and others) for the population of Danish workers longitudinally. By using such data from 1992 to 2002, we provide rigorous evidence for the first time for the population of workers in an entire economy (as opposed to case study evidence) on the effects of the nature and scope of human capital on career success (measured by appointments to top management). First, we confirm the beneficial effect of acquiring general human capital formally through schooling for career success, as well as the gender gap in career success rates. Second, broadening the scope of human capital by experiencing various occupations (becoming a generalist) is found to be advantageous for career success. Third, initial human capital earned through formal schooling and subsequent human capital obtained informally on the job are found to be complements in the production of career success. Fourth, though there is a large body of the literature on the relationship between firm-specific human capital and wages, the relative value of firm-specific human capital has been rarely studied in the context of career success. We find that it is more beneficial to broaden the breadth of human capital within the firm than without, pointing to the significance of firm-specific human capital for career success.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5764.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5764

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Keywords: human capital; career development; occupations; internal promotion; external recruitment; top management;

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References

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  1. Francine Blau & Jed DeVaro, 2006. "New Evidence on Gender Differences in Promotion Rates: An Empirical Analysis of a Sample of New Hires," Working Papers 891, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Nina Smith & Valdemar Smith & Mette Verne, 2011. "The gender pay gap in top corporate jobs in Denmark: Glass ceilings, sticky floors or both?," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(2), pages 156-177, May.
  3. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2006. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics inside Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 59-108, January.
  4. Frederiksen, Anders & Halliday, Timothy J. & Koch, Alexander K., 2010. "Within- and Cross-Firm Mobility and Earnings Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 5163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Smith, Nina & Smith, Valdemar & Verner, Mette, 2011. "Why Are So Few Females Promoted into CEO and Vice-President Positions? Danish Empirical Evidence 1997-2007," IZA Discussion Papers 5961, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Manoj Atolia & Yoshinori Kurokawa, 2014. "Fixed Costs, Task Variety, and Skill Flexibility: A Simple Unified Theory of Below and Within-top Inequality," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2014-001, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.
  3. Parrotta, Pierpaolo & Pozzoli, Dario & Pytlikova, Mariola, 2010. "The Nexus between Labor Diversity and Firm´s Innovation," Working Papers 10-15, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Hideo Owan & Shingo Takahashi & Tsuyoshi Tsuru & Katsuhito Uehara, 2014. "Finding good managers: an econometric case study of a large Japanese auto dealership," Working Papers EMS_2014_08, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
  5. Fabio Berton & Francesco Devicienti & Lia Pacelli, 2014. "Human capital accumulation in temporary jobs: specific or general?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 138, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.

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