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Stepping-stone mobility

  • Jovanovic, Boyan
  • Nyarko, Yaw

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 46 (1997)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 289-325

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Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:46:y:1997:i::p:289-325
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jme

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  1. Joseph Altonji & R. Shakotko, 1985. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Working Papers 567, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Brendan O'Flaherty & Aloysius Siow, 1992. "On the Job Screening, up or out Rules, and Firm Growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 25(2), pages 346-68, May.
  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. Boyan Jovanovic & Robert Moffitt, 1990. "An Estimate of a Sectoral Model of Labor Mobility," NBER Working Papers 3227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Why Are There Returns to Schooling?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 153-58, May.
  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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