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Stepping Stone Mobility

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  • Boyan Jovanovic
  • Yaw Nyarko

Abstract

People at the top of an occupational ladder earn more partly because they have spent time on lower rungs, where they have learned something. But what precisely do they learn? There are two contrasting views: First, the Bandit model assumes that people are different, that experience reveals their characteristics, and that consequently an occupational switch can result. Second, in our Stepping Stone model, experience raises a worker's productivity on a given task and the acquired skill can in part be transferred to other occupations, and this prompts movement. Safe activities (where mistakes destroy less output) are a natural training ground.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5651.

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Date of creation: Jul 1996
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Publication status: published as Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Volume 46, June 1997, pp. 289-325
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5651

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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan & Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "An Estimate of a Sectoral Model of Labor Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(4), pages 827-52, August.
  2. 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.
  3. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1980. "Person-Specific Information in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 578-97, June.
  4. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990. "On the Job Screening, Up or Out Rules, and Firm Growth," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-11, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  6. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Why Are There Returns to Schooling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 153-58, May.
  7. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919, November.
  8. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Salvatore Capasso, 2006. "Stock Market Development and Economic Growth: A Matter of Information Dynamics," CSEF Working Papers 166, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
  2. K Blackburn & N Bose & S Capasso, 2001. "Financial Development, Financing Choice and Economic Growth," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 07, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  3. Dustmann, Christian & Fadlon, Itzhak & Weiss, Yoram, 2011. "Return migration, human capital accumulation and the brain drain," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 58-67, May.
  4. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2007. "Career and Skill Formation: A Dynamic Occupational Choice Model with Multidimensional Skills," Department of Economics Working Papers 2007-02, McMaster University.
  5. Iwahashi, Roki, 2007. "A theoretical assessment of regional development effects on the demand for general education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 387-394, June.
  6. Lalé, Etienne, 2012. "Trends in occupational mobility in France: 1982–2009," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 373-387.
  7. Bonin, Holger & Dohmen, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David B. & Sunde, Uwe, 2006. "Cross-sectional Earnings Risk and Occupational Sorting: The Role of Risk Attitudes," IZA Discussion Papers 1930, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Boris Groysberg & Ashish Nanda & M. Julia Prats, 2007. "Does Individual Performance Affect Entrepreneurial Mobility? Empirical Evidence from the Financial Analysis Market," NBER Working Papers 13633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1998. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics in Internal Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. S Capasso, 2003. "Stock Market Development and Economic Growth: A matter of informational problems," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 32, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  11. Daniel Baumgarten, 2009. "International Outsourcing, the Nature of Tasks, and Occupational Stability – Empirical Evidence for Germany," Ruhr Economic Papers 0108, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  12. Lars Vilhuber, 1997. "Sector-Specific On-the-Job Training: Evidence from U.S. Data," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-42, CIRANO.
  13. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2009. "Career Progression and Comparative Advantage," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd08-025, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  14. Bose, Niloy, 2005. "Endogenous growth and the emergence of equity finance," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 173-188, June.

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