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Two-Sided Learning, Labor Turnover and Displacement

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  • Gerard A. Pfann
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

We construct a general dynamic structural model of two-sided learning between a firm and its workers. We estimate an empirical version of the model using personnel data from Fokker Aircraft that cover the path of layoffs and quits through its bankruptcy. We find that the firm learns about its workers' loyalty (demonstrating the role of information in repeated cooperative principal-agent relationships). There is no evidence that workers learn (consistent with earlier empirical results on American workers). The type of data that we use also generates information on the value of learning and on whether and how the characteristics of workers who remain until the firm's death differ from those of all affected workers. It thus allows us to measure the increases in the firm's value from learning about its workers' behavior and to infer the extent of biases in estimated losses from displacement from samples restricted to displaced workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8273.

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Date of creation: May 2001
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8273

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  1. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," NBER Working Papers 6699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pfann, Gerard A., 2000. "Options to Quit," IZA Discussion Papers 197, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  4. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Francine D. Blau & Larry M. Kahn, 1981. "Race and sex differences in quits by young workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 563-577, July.
  6. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1991. "A Theory of Quits and Layoffs with Efficient Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 1-29, February.
  7. Bruce C. Fallick, 1995. "A review of the recent empirical literature on displaced workers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-14, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Radner, Roy, 1981. "Monitoring Cooperative Agreements in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1127-48, September.
  9. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 1997. "Employer learning and statistical discrimination," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. KIEFER, Nicholas M. & NEUMANN, George R., . "An empirical job-search model, with a test of the constant reservation-wage hypothesis," CORE Discussion Papers RP -358, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  11. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," NBER Working Papers 1495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-68, August.
  13. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-27, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Fersterer, Josef & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2007. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6387, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hamermesh, Daniel, 2008. "Fun with matched firm-employee data: Progress and road maps," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 662-672, August.
  3. Kenneth A. Counch, 2003. "Job Matching and Wage Growth in the U.S. and Germany," Working papers 2003-10, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  4. von Greiff, Jenny, 2009. "Displacement and self-employment entry," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 556-565, October.
  5. Nykvist, Jenny, 2008. "The Effects of Displacement on Self-employment Survival," Working Paper Series 764, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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