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Estimating the wage costs of inter- and intra- sectoral adjustment

  • Michelle Haynes
  • Richard Upward
  • Peter Wright

The proposition that labour market adjustments to intra-industry trade are less costly than adjustments to inter-industry trade is a widely-held belief amongst trade economists. If it is the case that there are significant sector-specific skills, then this ‘smooth adjustment hypothesis’ seems intuitive. However, direct evidence relating to this issue remains largely anecdotal. In this Paper we adopt the methodology of the micro-econometric labour literature to estimate the returns to tenure within firms, industries and occupations in order to predict the costs, in terms of wage losses, of moving jobs between and within sectors. To do this we use a large panel of individual workers for the UK over a long period (1975–1998), which enables us to control for unobserved fixed effects which may jointly determine the propensity to move jobs and the wage level.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv.

Volume (Year): 138 (2002)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 229-253

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:138:y:2002:i:2:p:229-253
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  1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  2. Parent, D., 1995. "Industry-Specific Capiatl and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the NLSY and the PSID," Cahiers de recherche 9508, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
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  6. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
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  8. Kim, Dae Il, 1998. "Reinterpreting Industry Premiums: Match-Specific Productivity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 479-504, July.
  9. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
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