Factors Affecting the Output and Quit Propensities of Production Workers
AbstractWe have used a proprietary data set of newly hired semi-skilled production workers at one location of a large unionized firm to investigate several issues in labor economics. This data set is unique in several respects: the workers in our sample faced the same wage schedules, had the same promotional opportunities, the same job tenure (zero), similar working conditions, and had jobs for which we were able to record their physical output. We analyze these data by formulating a simultaneous equation model to explain wages, output, education, and a worker's quit decision. The model is estimated by maximum likelihood and subjected to a variety of specification tests. Such tests include a comparison of the standard error estimates that form the basis for White's information test, and White's version of a Hausman specification test. Our principal findings are: 1. Individuals that choose more education than we would expect from their observed characteristics have lower than expected quit propensities. We argue that this low quit propensity is one of the unmeasured (and unobserved) attributes that sorting models posit are correlated with education and hence distort the usual estimates of rates of return to education. 2. The performance of non-whites in our sample was no lower than that of whites. However, on their previous jobs non-whites received lower wages than did whites. 3. The output per hour of males in our sample was higher than that of females; however, we were unable to conclude from our data whether these productivity differences could explain the higher wages received by men on their previous jobs. Moreover, this output difference may be transitory and may diminish with on-the-job learning. 4. The expected value of alternative wages had a positive (but not statistically very significant) effect on quit rates. Workers with better alternative opportunities were more likely to quit (all workers had the same opportunities on their current job). 5. Finally we found that workers with high output levels were more likely to quit than were workers with average output levels.
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 2184.
Date of creation: Mar 1987
Date of revision:
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:
- Klein, Roger & Spady, Richard & Weiss, Andrew, 1991. "Factors Affecting the Output and Quit Propensities of Production Workers," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 929-53, October.
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.:
- Viscusi, W Kip, 1980. "Sex Differences in Worker Quitting," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 62(3), pages 388-98, August.
- Weiss, Andrew, 1984. "Determinants of Quit Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 371-87, July.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
- Ann P. Bartel, 1982. "Wages, nonwage job characteristics, and labor mobility," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(4), pages 578-589, July.
- Mellow, Wesley, 1982. "Employer Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 495-501, August.
- Flinn, Christopher J, 1986. "Wages and Job Mobility of Young Workers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S88-S110, June.
- James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Pencavel, John H, 1972. "Wages, Specific Training, and Labor Turnover in US Manufacturing Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(1), pages 53-64, February.
- Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005.
"Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation,"
NBER Working Papers
11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
- Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Eduardo de Carvalho Andrade & Luciano I. de Castro, 2008. "Tougher Educational Exam Leading to Worse Selection," Discussion Papers 1469, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- de Carvalho Andrade, Eduardo & de Castro, Luciano I., 2011. "Tougher educational exam leading to worse selection," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 5(17), pages 1-24.
- O'Connell, Michael & Sheikh, Hammad, 2008. "Achievement-related attitudes and the fate of "at-risk" groups in society," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 508-521, August.
- Koenker, Roger & Yoon, Jungmo, 2009. "Parametric links for binary choice models: A Fisherian-Bayesian colloquy," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 152(2), pages 120-130, October.
- Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
- Antonio Caparrós Ruiz & Mª. Lucía Navarro Gómez, 2002. "Factors affecting quits and layoffs in Spain," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2002/16, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
- Caparros, A. & Navarro, M.L., 2005. "Factors Affecting Quits and Layoffs in Spanish Labour Market," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 5(4).
- O'Connell, Michael & Sheikh, Hammad, 2007. "Growth in career earnings and the role of achievement-related traits," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 590-605, October.
- Harry J. Holzer, 1988. "The Determinants of Employee Productivity and Earnings: Some New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2782, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006.
"The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior,"
Journal of Labor Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
- James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sebastian Stolorz, 2005. "A Test of the Signalling Hypothesis - Evidence from Natural Experiment," Labor and Demography 0512008, EconWPA.
- Eduardo Andrade & Luciano De Castro, 2010. "Tougher Educational Exam Leading to Worse Selection," Discussion Papers 1533, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Gottlieb, Daniel & Moreira, Humberto Ataíde & Araújo, Aloísio Pessoa de, 2004. "A model of mixed signals with applications to countersignaling an the GED," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 553, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
- Yi-Chun Chen & Siyang Xiong, 2008. "Topologies on Types: Connections," Discussion Papers 1470, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- Muggeo, Vito M.R. & Ferrara, Giancarlo, 2008. "Fitting generalized linear models with unspecified link function: A P-spline approach," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 2529-2537, January.
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.