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Firm-Specific Seniority and Wages

  • Barth, Erling

This article studies the relationship between seniority and wages. Micro data with more than one observation from each firm are utilized to single out the seniority effect on wages arising within firms from the total seniority wage effect. The results show that the seniority effect arises within firms, but do not support the human capital explanation of the seniority wage profile. Employees with high levels of firm-specific on-the-job training requirements have less steep wage profiles. The results give some support to the theory of delayed compensation as piece rate workers have negligible returns to seniority. Copyright 1997 by University of Chicago Press.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/209869
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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 495-506

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:15:y:1997:i:3:p:495-506
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Bernhardt, Dan & Timmis, Gerald C, 1990. "Multiperiod Wage Contracts and Productivity Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(4), pages 529-63, October.
  2. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  3. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  5. Levine, David I., 1991. "Worth Waiting For? Delayed Compensation, Training and Turnover in the United States and Japan," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt97m9v25n, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  6. Joseph G. Altonji & Robert A. Shakotko, 1987. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 437-459.
  7. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  8. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-20, September.
  9. Brown, James N, 1989. "Why Do Wages Increase with Tenure? On-the-Job Training and Life-Cycle Wage Growth Observed within Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 971-91, December.
  10. Hutchens, Robert M, 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 49-64, Fall.
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