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Wages, Separations, and Job Tenure: On-the-Job Specific Training or Matching?


  • Mortensen, Dale T


A general stochastic model of optimal job separation behavior is developed in this paper. The model nests both the job training and th e job-matching hypotheses of the wage-tenure relationship as special cases. The purpose of the paper is to compare the implications of the two hypotheses for job turnover. The principal theoretical result is that expected wealth-maximizing separation strategies are qualitatively identical under the two hypotheses. Although the empirical implications of the two hypotheses for observations on the distribution of completed job-spell lengths are similar as a conseque nce, they are not quite identical. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Mortensen, Dale T, 1988. "Wages, Separations, and Job Tenure: On-the-Job Specific Training or Matching?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 445-471, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:6:y:1988:i:4:p:445-71

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fuchs, Victor R, 1974. "Recent Trends and Long-Run Prospects for Female Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 236-242, May.
    2. Kenneth Arrow, 1971. "The Theory of Discrimination," Working Papers 403, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    3. F. Thomas Juster, 1977. "The Distribution of Economic Well-Being," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number just77-1, January.
    4. Steven H. Sandell & David Shapiro, 1980. "Work Expectations, Human Capital Accumulation, and the Wages of Young Women," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 335-353.
    5. Phelps, Edmund S, 1972. "The Statistical Theory of Racism and Sexism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 659-661, September.
    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-1260, December.
    7. Joanne Salop & Steven Salop, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-627.
    8. Dale T. Mortensen, 1978. "Specific Capital and Labor Turnover," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 572-586, Autumn.
    9. Duncan, Greg J & Hoffman, Saul, 1979. "On-the-Job Training and Earnings Differences by Race and Sex," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(4), pages 594-603, November.
    10. Joanne Salop & Steven C. Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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