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Corporate Tournaments, Human Capital Acquisition, and the Firm Size-Wage Relation

  • Zabojnik, Jan
  • Bernhardt, Dan

This paper provides a possible explanation for the empirically observed size-wage effect and inter-industry wage differences. It develops a model in which incentives for workers to accumulate general human capital are provided by corporate tournaments, where workers with the highest level of general human capital win promotions. Given that the prizes in such tournaments are determined by outside market conditions, the investment and the equilibrium wages depend on firm and industry characteristics. The model implies that workers in bigger firms and in more technology intensive and profitable firms and industries acquire more human capital and receive higher wages and benefits. Copyright 2001 by The Review of Economic Studies Limited

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 68 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 693-716

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Handle: RePEc:bla:restud:v:68:y:2001:i:3:p:693-716
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