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Up-or-Out Contracts: A Signaling Perspective

  • Waldman, Michael

A firm will typically gather information concerning its own workers that is not available to other potential employers, while other firms will attempt to reduce this information asymmetry by observing the actions of the initial employer. The author argues that this process can be important in environments characterized by up-or-out contracts in that the retentions decision can serve as a signal of productivity. The article investigates this argument in an environment where in-or-out contracts are employed because they provide workers with an incentive to accumulate general human capital and where learning takes place in a diffuse fashion. Copyright 1990 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): 8 (1990)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 230-50

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:8:y:1990:i:2:p:230-50
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  1. MacDonald, Glenn M, 1982. "A Market Equilibrium Theory of Job Assignment and Sequential Accumulation of Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1038-55, December.
  2. Harris, Milton & Holstrom, Bengt, 1982. "A Theory of Wage Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 315-33, July.
  3. Milgrom, Paul & Oster, Sharon, 1987. "Job Discrimination, Market Forces, and the Invisibility Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 453-76, August.
  4. Novos, I.E., 1988. "Worker Preferences And Firm Structure," Papers m8821, Southern California - Department of Economics.
  5. Sherwin Rosen, 1981. "Studies in Labor Markets," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number rose81-1, 07.
  6. Edward P. Lazear, 1984. "Raids and Offermatching," NBER Working Papers 1419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael Waldman, 1983. "Job Assignments, Signalling nad Efficiency," UCLA Economics Working Papers 286, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
  9. Kahn, Charles & Huberman, Gur, 1988. "Two-sided Uncertainty and "Up-or-Out" Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 423-44, October.
  10. Ricart i Costa, Joan E, 1988. "Managerial Task Assignment and Promotions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 449-66, March.
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