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Ability and employer learning: Evidence from the economist labor market

  • Oyer, Paul

I study the human capital development and firm-worker matching processes for PhD economists. This group is useful for this purpose because the types of jobs they hold can be easily categorized and they have an observable productivity measure (that is, publications). I derive a two-period model to motivate an empirical analysis of economist job matching upon graduation, matching ten years later, and productivity in the first ten years. I show that matching to a higher ranked institution affects productivity. I present evidence that employers improve their estimates of economists' ability early in their career in a way that determines longer-term job placement. I also find that the initial placement of economists to institutions does not show much evidence of systematic misallocation along observable characteristics. J. Japanese Int. Economies 22 (2) (2008) 268-289.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of the Japanese and International Economies.

Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 268-289

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:22:y:2008:i:2:p:268-289
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622903

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  1. Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-120, December.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning And Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350, February.
  3. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 8889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Farber, Henry S & Gibbons, Robert, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-47, November.
  5. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
  6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  7. Yonmin Chen & Terra Mckinnish, 2005. "Do Economics Departments Search Optimally in Faculty Recruiting?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 676-688, July.
  8. Carmichael, H Lorne, 1988. "Incentives in Academics: Why Is There Tenure?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(3), pages 453-72, June.
  9. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
  10. Valerie Smeets & Frédèric warzynski & Tom Coupé, 2006. "Does the Academic Labor Market Initially Allocate New Graduates Efficiently?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 161-172, Summer.
  11. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "A Market Equilibrium Theory of Job Assignment and Sequential Accumulation of Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1038-55, December.
  12. Paul Oyer, 2006. "Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 143-160, Summer.
  13. Paul Oyer, 2006. "The Making of an Investment Banker: Macroeconomic Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income," NBER Working Papers 12059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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