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Returns to Skills and Personnel Management: U.S. Department of Defense Scientists and Engineers

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  • Michael Gibbs

Abstract

Personnel records are used to examine compensation, recruitment, and retention of a group of highly skilled workers: civilian scientists and engineers in U.S. Department of Defense laboratories. In contrast to those of the private sector, returns to skills were largely flat for this group from 1982 to 1996. Despite this, quality and performance of recruits relative to earlier cohorts, and of those retained relative to those who left, remained stable. One explanation is the importance of defense industry--specific human capital. These results hold for three different pay plans, including the federal government's primary plan and two intended to introduce greater flexibility in personnel management. (JEL J31, J44, J45, M52) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Gibbs, 2006. "Returns to Skills and Personnel Management: U.S. Department of Defense Scientists and Engineers," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 44(2), pages 199-214, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:199-214
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbj012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Esther Gal-Or & Anthony Dukes, 2003. "Minimum Differentiation in Commercial Media Markets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 291-325, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Haeck & Frank Verboven, 2012. "The Internal Economics of a University: Evidence from Personnel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(3), pages 591-626.
    2. Pema, Elda & Mehay, Stephen, 2010. "The role of job assignment and human capital endowments in explaining gender differences in job performance and promotion," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 998-1009, December.
    3. Christian Pfeifer, 2011. "Handicaps in Job Assignment: Insiders, Outsiders and Gender," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 1-20, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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