Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Career Dynamics Under Uncertainty: Estimating the Value of Firm Experimentation

Contents:

Author Info

  • Elena Pastorino

    ()
    (Economics University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

This paper develops and structurally estimates a learning model in which firms acquire information about workers' ability by observing their performance over time. A firm consists of a collection of jobs which differ in the informational content of performance, as measured by the dispersion in posterior beliefs after output is observed. Ability is general across jobs and firms. Because of the trade--off between learning and short--run profit maximization, a firm's optimal job assignment policy is solution to an experimentation problem---a multi--armed Bandit problem with dependent arms. In presence of firm competition, the job--dependent quality of performance signals can cause distortions in information acquisition within firms, inducing (ex ante) inefficient job assignment and turnover. The model is estimated using longitudinal data from a single U.S. firm on the cohorts of managers entering the firm at the lowest managerial level between 1970 and 1979 (the same dataset used by Baker, Gibbs and Holmstrom [1994a, 1994b]). Estimation results confirm that a theoretically restricted learning model can succeed in fitting the dynamic pattern of separations, promotions and demotions, and individual wage profiles. The estimated model is then used to assess the impact on mobility, between jobs and firms, and on wages of alleviating ex ante (at the beginning of an employment relationship) and interim (during employment) uncertainty, respectively through improved screening and monitoring. Given the estimated divergence between private and social returns to information, alternative policies (e.g., mandatory probationary employment contracts) are evaluated to quantify the potential welfare gains associated with increased experimentation in firms.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.biz.uiowa.edu/faculty/epastorino/j_empirical.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2005 Meeting Papers with number 495.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed005:495

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Email:
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Retention; Job Assignment; Learning; Experimentation;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed005:495. See general 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: (Christian Zimmermann).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.