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On-the-Job Specific Training and Efficient Screening

  • Bac, Mehmet

Employment relationships are governed by short-term incomplete contracts and typically involve on-the-job screening and firm-specific training. This article studies a dynamic employment relationship with these features and identifies a potential conflict between the employer's twin objectives to screen and train the worker: when the training technology is quite productive, the employer may have to sacrifice from worker performance during the screening process. The article thus offers an explanation for why firms may invest suboptimally on training, which complements the standard "inappropriable rents" explanation based on ex post mobility of young employees. Copyright 2000 by University of Chicago Press.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Labor Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 681-701

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:18:y:2000:i:4:p:681-701
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JOLE/

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  1. Mehmet Bac, 1997. "Bilateral Relationships Governed by Incomplete Contracts," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(2), pages 320-, June.
  2. 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.
  3. Malcomson, J.M., 1997. "Contracts, hold-up and labor markets," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 9703, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  4. Dominique Demougin & Aloysius Siow, 1992. "Careers in Ongoing Hierarchies," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 5, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
  5. Bac, Mehmet, 1993. "Opportunism and the Dynamics of Incomplete Contracts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 663-83, August.
  6. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
  8. Bac, Mehmet, 2001. "To invest or screen efficiently: a potential conflict in relationships governed by incomplete contracts," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 567-588, March.
  9. Acemoglu, D. & Pischki, J.S., 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," Working papers 96-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. Abe Yukiko, 1994. "Specific Capital, Adverse Selection, and Turnover: A Comparison of the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 272-292, September.
  11. Greenwald, Bruce C, 1986. "Adverse Selection in the Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 325-47, July.
  12. Eng Loh, 1994. "Employment probation as a sorting mechanism," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 471-486, April.
  13. Prendergast, Canice, 1992. "Career development and specific human capital collection," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 207-227, September.
  14. Bac, Mehmet & Saglam, Ismail, 1999. "Managerial defections, promotion criteria and firm growth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 917-940, October.
  15. Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
  17. Michael Waldman, 1984. "Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
  18. Eng Seng Loh, 1994. "Employment Probation as a Sorting Mechanism," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 471-486, April.
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