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Do Initial Conditions Persist between Firms? An Analysis of Firm-Entry Cohort Effects and Job Losers Using Matched Employer-Employee Data

In: The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

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  • Till von Wachter
  • Stefan Bender

Abstract

"Influential studies have suggested that initial conditions can have persistent effects on workers' careers within firms. It is a longstanding question among economists whether such lasting wage differentials among firms and industries are due to persistent deviations of wages from workers' skills due to contracting and market frictions, or whether they arise from permanent differences among workers' skills. However, there is currently little representative evidence on firm-entry cohort effects and few explicit tests of alternative explanations. We use information on the universe of workers from a large German manufacturing sector from matched employer- employee records to show that firm-entry cohort effects are a pervasive phenomenon for the firms we study. The cohort effects we estimate are highly heterogeneous across firms and slowly fade over time. We also find that wage premiums on the past job are lost at job displacement, and that initial positive effects on wage levels at the new job fades over time. This suggests that at least part of firm-entry cohort effects arise from transitory rents, and that initial effects from previous wages fade as workers' search for better jobs." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
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Suggested Citation

  • Till von Wachter & Stefan Bender, 2008. "Do Initial Conditions Persist between Firms? An Analysis of Firm-Entry Cohort Effects and Job Losers Using Matched Employer-Employee Data," NBER Chapters, in: The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, pages 135-162, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:9114
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Ronald Bachmann & Peggy Bechara & Anica Kramer & Sylvi Rzepka, 2015. "Labour market dynamics and worker heterogeneity during the Great Recession – Evidence from Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, December.
    2. Ronald Bachmann & Peggy Bechara & Anica Kramer & Sylvi Rzepka, 2014. "Labour Market Dynamics and Worker Heterogeneity During the Great Recession – Evidence from Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 0499, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Tommaso Colussi, 2013. "Migrant Networks and Job Search Outcomes: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Working Papers 706, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Beartice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "To Shape the Future: How Labor Market Entry Conditions Affect Individuals’s Long-Run Wage Profiles," NRN working papers 2009-29, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Hamermesh, Daniel, 2008. "Fun with matched firm-employee data: Progress and road maps," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 662-672, August.
    6. Arellano-Bover, Jaime, 2020. "Career Consequences of Firm Heterogeneity for Young Workers: First Job and Firm Size," IZA Discussion Papers 12969, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Jonathan Thomas & Andy Snell, 2007. "Real and Nominal Wage Rigidity in a Model of Equal-Treatment Contracting," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0708, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    8. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2014. "The impact of labor market entry conditions on initial job assignment and wages," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(3), pages 705-738, July.
    9. Blázquez, Maite & Herrarte, Ainhoa & Llorente-Heras, Raquel, 2018. "Competencies, occupational status, and earnings among European university graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 16-34.
    10. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "To shape the future: How labor market entry conditions affect individuals' long-run wage profiles," IEW - Working Papers 457, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    11. Tommaso Colussi, 2013. "Migrant Networks and Job Search Outcomes: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Working Papers 706, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    12. Bachmann, Ronald & Bauer, Thomas K. & David, Peggy, 2010. "Labour Market Entry Conditions, Wages and Job Mobility," Ruhr Economic Papers 188, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    13. Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2010. "The Impact of Labor Market Entry Conditions on Initial Job Assignment, Human Capital Accumulation, and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 5360, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. repec:zbw:rwirep:0499 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2009. "To Shape the Future: How Labor Market Entry Conditions Affect Individuals' Long-Run Wage Profiles," IZA Discussion Papers 4601, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Xiaolan Zhang, 2014. "Who Bears Firm-Level Risk? Implications for Cash Flow Volatility," 2014 Meeting Papers 184, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2010. "The impact of labor market entry conditions on initial job assignment, human capital accumulation, and wages," IEW - Working Papers 520, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    18. Johannes F. Schmieder & Till von Wachter, 2010. "Does Wage Persistence Matter for Employment Fluctuations? Evidence from Displaced Workers," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 1-21, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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