Labor Mobility and Wages
AbstractIn this essay we explore the implications of human capital and search behavior for both the interpersonal and life-cycle structure of inter-firm labor mobility. The economic hypothesis which motivates the analysis is that individual differences in firm-specific complementarities and related skill acquisitions produce differences in mobility behavior and in the relation between job tenure, wages and mobility. Both "job duration dependence" and "heterogeneity bias" are implied by this theory. Exploration of longitudinal data sets (NLS and MID) which contain mobility, job and wage histories of men in the 1966-76 decade yield several findings, among others: 1. The initially steep and later decelerating declines of labor mobility with working age are in large part due to the similar but more steeply declining relation between mobility and length of job tenure. 2. Given tenure levels, the probability of moving is predicted positively by the frequency of prior moves and negatively by education. The inclusion of prior moves in the regression reduces the estimated tenure slope because it helps to remove the "heterogeneity bias" in that slope. 3. The popular "mover-stayer model" is rejected by the existence of tenure effects on mobility. 4. Differences in mobility during the first decade of working life do not predict long-run differences in earnings. However, persistent movers at later stages of working life have lower wage levels and flatter life-cycle wage growth. 5. The analysis calls for a reformulation of earnings (wage) functions. Inclusion of tenure terms in the function permits separate estimates of returns to general and specific human capital after correction for heterogeneity bias. A rough estimate is that 50 percent of life-time wage growth is due to general (transferable) experience and 25 percent each to firm-specific experience and inter-firm mobility.
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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0357.
Date of creation: Jun 1979
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Mincer, Jacob and Jovanovic, Boyan. "Labor Mobility and Wages." Studies in Labor Markets, edited by Sherwin Rosen, pp. 21-63. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
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.:
- Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.