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Investigating the Decline in Manufacturing Quit Rates


  • James F. Ragan Jr.


In contrast to previous studies, the research reported here finds that the quit rate in manufacturing has declined in recent decades. This trend is discernible not only for aggregate manufacturing, but also for 19 of 20 manufacturing industries. An increase in fixed costs of labor relative to wages has contributed to reduced mobility, inducing employers to raise the cost of quitting to employees. The impact on labor turnover of other factors, including unionism, a changing composition of employment in various industries, and labor legislation, is also investigated.

Suggested Citation

  • James F. Ragan Jr., 1984. "Investigating the Decline in Manufacturing Quit Rates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 53-71.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:19:y:1984:i:1:p:53-71

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bloch, Farrell, 1994. "Antidiscrimination Law and Minority Employment," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226059839.
    2. Kim B. Clark & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Labor Market Dynamics and Unemployemnt: A Reconsideration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 10(1), pages 13-72.
    3. Ham, John C & Rea, Samuel A, Jr, 1987. "Unemployment Insurance and Male Unemployment Duration in Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 325-353, July.
    4. David Neumark & Michele McLennan, 1995. "Sex Discrimination and Women's Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 713-740.
    5. Blau, David M, 1994. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Men," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 117-156, January.
    6. Kuhn, Peter J, 1990. "Sex Discrimination in Labor Markets: The Role of Statistical Evidence: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 290-297, March.
    7. Hurd, Michael D, 1990. "Research on the Elderly: Economic Status, Retirement, and Consumption and Saving," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 565-637, June.
    8. Joseph F. Quinn & Richard V. Burkhauser & Daniel A. Myers, 1990. "Passing the Torch: The Influence of Economic Incentives on Work and Retirement," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number pt, November.
    9. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David & Troske, Kenneth R, 1999. "Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 409-446, July.
    10. Robert M. Hutchens, 1988. "Do Job Opportunities Decline with Age?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 42(1), pages 89-99, October.
    11. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Campbell, Carl & Orszag, J. Michael, 1998. "A model of the wage curve," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 119-125, April.
    2. Lacroix, Robert & Montmarquette, Claude & Mahseredjian, Sophie & Froment, Nicole, 1991. "Disparités interindustrielles dans les taux de départs volontaires : une étude empirique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 67(4), pages 458-481, décembre.
    3. Campbell, Carl III, 1995. "A cross-industry time-series analysis of quits," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 53-72.

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