IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v96y2006i5p1679-1705.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

In the Right Place at the Wrong Time: The Role of Firms and Luck in Young Workers' Careers

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Bender
  • Till von Wachter

Abstract

We examine administrative data on young German workers and their employers to study the long-term effects of an early career job loss. To account for nonrandom sorting of workers into firms with different turnover rates and for selective job mobility, we use changes over time in firm- and age-specific labor demand as an instrument for displacement. We find that wage losses of young job losers are initially 15 percent, but drop to zero within five years. Only workers leaving very large establishments suffer persistent losses. A comparison of estimators implies that initial sorting, negative selection, and voluntary job mobility biases ordinary least squares estimates toward finding permanent negative effects of early displacements. (JEL J13, J23, J24, J62, J63, M53)

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Bender & Till von Wachter, 2006. "In the Right Place at the Wrong Time: The Role of Firms and Luck in Young Workers' Careers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1679-1705, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1679-1705
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1679
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.96.5.1679
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec06/20040969_data.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec06/20040969_app.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Margolis, D..N., 1995. "Firm Heterogeneity and Worker Self-Selection Bias Estimated Returns to Seniority," Cahiers de recherche 9502, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    2. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1981. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-380, October.
    4. Kevin M. Murphy & Finis Welch, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 79-119.
    6. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
    7. Stefan Bender & Christian Dustmann & David Margolis & Costas Meghir, 1998. "Worker Displacement in France and Germany," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00370611, HAL.
    8. Machin, Stephen & Manning, Alan, 1999. "The causes and consequences of longterm unemployment in Europe," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 47, pages 3085-3139 Elsevier.
    9. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919.
    10. Thomas J. Kane & Dietmar Harhoff, 1997. "Is the German apprenticeship system a panacea for the U.S. labor market?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 10(2), pages 171-196.
    11. David G. Blanchflower & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "Youth Employment and Joblessness in Advanced Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number blan00-1, April.
    12. Harry Krashinsky, 2002. "Evidence on Adverse Selection and Establishment Size in the Labor Market," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(1), pages 84-96, October.
    13. Rosella Gardecki & David Neumark, 1998. "Order from Chaos? The Effects of Early Labor Market Experiences on Adult Labor Market Outcomes," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 299-322, January.
    14. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, January.
    15. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    16. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    17. David T. Ellwood, 1982. "Teenage Unemployment: Permanent Scars or Temporary Blemishes?," NBER Chapters,in: The Youth Labor Market Problem: Its Nature, Causes, and Consequences, pages 349-390 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Euwals, Rob & Winkelmann, Rainer, 2001. "Why Do Firms Train? Empirical Evidence on the First Labour Market Outcomes of Graduated Apprentices," IZA Discussion Papers 319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1981. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 21-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Bauer, Thomas K. & Bender, Stefan, 2004. "Technological change, organizational change, and job turnover," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 265-291, June.
    21. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Peter Diamond, 1994. "Ranking, Unemployment Duration, and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(3), pages 417-434.
    22. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    23. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
    24. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    25. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
    26. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    27. Joanne Salop & Steven Salop, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-627.
    28. Andrew Weiss & Ruqu Wang, 1990. "A Sorting Model of Labor Contracts: Implications for Layoffs and Wage-Tenure Profiles," NBER Working Papers 3448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
    30. Kenneth A. Couch, 2001. "Earnings Losses and Unemployment of Displaced Workers in Germany," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(3), pages 559-572, April.
    31. Wolfgang Franz & Joachim Inkmann & Winfried Pohlmeier & Volker Zimmermann, 1997. "Young and Out in Germany: On the Youths' Chances of Labor Market Entrance in Germany," NBER Working Papers 6212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning and Experience in the Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 7(3), pages 326-342.
    33. Derek Neal, 1998. "The Link between Ability and Specialization: An Explanation for Observed Correlations between Wages and Mobility Rates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 173-200.
    34. John M. Abowd & Patrick Corbel & Francis Kramarz, 1999. "The Entry And Exit Of Workers And The Growth Of Employment: An Analysis Of French Establishments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 170-187, May.
    35. Lori G. Kletzer, 1998. "Job Displacement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 115-136, Winter.
    36. Paul Ryan, 2001. "The School-to-Work Transition: A Cross-National Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 34-92, March.
    37. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-677, October.
    38. David Neumark, 1998. "Youth Labor Markets in the U.S.: Shopping Around vs. Staying Put," NBER Working Papers 6581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    39. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358.
    40. Jacob Mincer, 1986. "Wage Changes in Job Changes," NBER Working Papers 1907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    41. Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "A Review of the Recent Empirical Literature on Displaced Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 5-16, October.
    42. Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "Sources of Intra-Industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-884.
    43. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:26:y:1994:i:1994-3:p:177-248 is not listed on IDEAS
    44. Arthur M. Okun, 1973. "Upward Mobility in a High-Pressure Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 4(1), pages 207-262.
    45. 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.
    46. David Margolis, 1999. "Worker Displacement in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00370589, HAL.
    47. Joanne Salop & Steven C. Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    48. Gibbons, R. & Katz, L., 1989. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differences," Working papers 543, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    49. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-1047.
    50. Farber, Henry S, 1994. "The Analysis of Interfirm Worker Mobility," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 554-593, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1679-1705. 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: (Jane Voros) or (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.