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The Role of Comparative Advantage and Learning in Wage Dynamics and Intrafirm Mobility: Evidence from Germany

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  • Stephanie Lluis

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

This article measures the importance of job level assignment based on comparative advantage and learning about workers' ability in explaining intrafirm wage and mobility dynamics using survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. The results reveal the importance of nonrandom selection of workers into the rungs of the firm's job ladder. Measured and unmeasured ability play important roles in workers' rank assignment, with unmeasured ability being more important at higher levels of the hierarchical job structure. There is some evidence of learning effects for workers below age 35 generating mobility between upper and executive levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephanie Lluis, 2005. "The Role of Comparative Advantage and Learning in Wage Dynamics and Intrafirm Mobility: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 725-768, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:23:y:2005:i:4:p:725-768
    DOI: 10.1086/491607
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    2. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
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    6. Michael Waldman, 2012. "Theory and Evidence in Internal Labor Markets," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    7. Stéphanie Lluis & Jean Abraham, 2013. "The Wage–Health Insurance Trade-off and Worker Selection: Evidence From the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 1997 to 2006," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 541-581, April.
    8. Bas Klaauw & António Dias da Silva, 2011. "Wage dynamics and promotions inside and between firms," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(4), pages 1513-1548, October.
    9. Dora Gicheva, 2013. "Working Long Hours and Early Career Outcomes in the High-End Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 785-824.
    10. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2006. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics inside Firms," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 59-108, January.
    11. Ana Ferrer & Stéphanie Lluis, 2008. "Should Workers Care about Firm Size?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 62(1), pages 104-125, October.
    12. Zaharieva, Anna & Dawid, Herbert & Mitkova, Mariya, 2021. "Optimal Promotions of Competing Firms in a Frictional Labour Market with Organizational Hierarchies," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242337, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. NAKABAYASHI, Masaki, 2011. "Acquired Skills and Learned Abilities: Wage Dynamics of Blue-collar Workers in Internal Labor Markets," ISS Discussion Paper Series (series F) f153, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo, revised Apr 2012.
    14. Chadi, Adrian & Goerke, Laszlo, 2015. "Missing at Work - Sickness-related Absence and Subsequent Job Mobility," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112862, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Hugh Cassidy, 2017. "Task Variation Within Occupations," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 393-410, July.
    16. Delfgaauw, Josse, 2007. "The effect of job satisfaction on job search: Not just whether, but also where," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 299-317, June.
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    18. Neugart, Michael & Zaharieva, Anna, 2018. "Social Networks, Promotions, and the Glass-Ceiling Effect," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 601, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
    19. Anders Frederiksen & Timothy Halliday & Alexander K. Koch, 2016. "Within- and Cross-Firm Mobility and Earnings Growth," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 69(2), pages 320-353, March.
    20. ZHANGALIYEVA, Aigerim & NAKABAYASHI, Masaki, 2013. "Legacy of Czar: The Russian Dual System of Schooling and Signaling," ISS Discussion Paper Series (series F) f163, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo, revised 04 Sep 2019.
    21. Xin Jin, 2014. "The Signaling Role of Not Being Promoted: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 0314, University of South Florida, Department of Economics.
    22. Valerie Smeets & Michael Waldman & Frederic Warzynski, 2019. "Performance, Career Dynamics, and Span of Control," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 1183-1213.
    23. Chadi, Adrian & Goerke, Laszlo, 2018. "Missing at work – Sickness-related absence and subsequent career events," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 153-176.
    24. Kevin McKinney & Lars Vilhuber, 2006. "Using linked employer-employee data to investigate the speed of adjustments in downsizing firms," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2006-03, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    25. Jin, Xin, 2014. "The Signaling Role of Note Being Promoted: Theory and Evidence," MPRA Paper 58484, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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