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Firm Heterogeneity and Worker Self-Selection Bias Estimated Returns to Seniority

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  • Margolis, D..N.

Abstract

I develop a model under which workers with different marginal productivities self-select into firms based on the firm's seniority reward policy. I show how this may bias upwards the estimates of returns to seniority in cross-sectional and even some longitudinal studies, when differences in workforce composition are ignored. I develop a new estimator of true returns to seniority and empirically test the implications of the model. I show how several previous estimation strategies over-estimate returns to seniority, particularly in firms that offer zero or negative returns to job seniority, using a large longitudinal sample of French firms and workers. Dans ce papier je décris un modèle d'embauches où les individus avec des productivités marginales hétérogènes se trouvent par autosélection, dans les entreprises avec des politiques de rémunération d'ancienneté différentes. Je montre comment ceci peut induire un biais positif dans les estimateurs de rendement de l'ancienneté basés sur les données en coupe transversales et même certains estimateurs basés sur les données longitudinales. Je décris un nouvel estimateur du vrai rendement de l'ancienneté, que j'utilise pour tester les implications du modèle. Je montre comment certaines autres approches surestiment les rendements de l'ancienneté, surtout dans les firmes qui rémunèrent très peu l'ancienneté, en utilisant une grande base de données longitudinales des employeurs et employés français.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 9502.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:9502

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Keywords: WORKERS; ENTERPRISES;

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References

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  1. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-97, June.
  3. David N. Margolis, 1995. "Firm Heterogeneity and Worker Self-Selection Bias Estimated Returns to Seniority," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-04, CIRANO.
  4. Altonji, Joseph G & Shakotko, Robert A, 1987. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 437-59, July.
  5. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  6. Boyer, Marcel & Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Mahenc, Philippe & Moreaux, Michel, 1991. "Sequential Location Equilibria under Incomplete Information," IDEI Working Papers 6, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Nov 1994.
  7. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  8. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  9. Andrew Weiss & Ruqu Wang, 1990. "A Sorting Model of Labor Contracts: Implications for Layoffs and Wage-Tenure Profiles," NBER Working Papers 3448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Vogelsang, Timothy J & Perron, Pierre, 1998. "Additional Tests for a Unit Root Allowing for a Break in the Trend Function at an Unknown Time," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1073-1100, November.
  11. Salop, Joanne & Salop, Steven, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-27, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Margolis, D..N., 1995. "Firm Heterogeneity and Worker Self-Selection Bias Estimated Returns to Seniority," Cahiers de recherche 9502, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  2. Amigues, J-P & Favard, P & Gaudet, G & Moreaux, M, 1996. "On the Optimal Order of Natural Resource Use When the Capacity of the Inexhaustible Substitute is Limited," Cahiers de recherche 9628, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Yves Sprumont, 1998. "On the Game-Theoretic Structure of Public-Good Economies," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 455-472.
  4. Wachter, Till von & Bender, Stefan, 2004. "In the Right Place at the Wrong Time: The Role of Firms and Luck in Young Workers' Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 1348, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Leonard, Jonathan S., 1999. "Bringing the firm back in," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 43-51, March.
  6. Touhami, A. & Martens, A., 1996. "Macroemesures in Computable General Equilibrium Models: a Probabilistic Treatment with an Application to Morocco," Cahiers de recherche 9621, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  7. Lars Vilhuber, 1997. "Sector-Specific On-the-Job Training: Evidence from U.S. Data," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-42, CIRANO.
  8. Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2008. "Do Initial Conditions Persist between Firms? An Analysis of Firm-Entry Cohort Effects and Job Losers Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," NBER Chapters, in: The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, pages 135-162 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. VILHUBERT, Lars, 1999. "Sector-Specific on-the-Job Training: Evidence from U.S. Data," Cahiers de recherche 9906, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.

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