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Occupation-Specific Human Capital and Local Labor Markets

  • Jeffrey A. Groen

    ()

    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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    Most skills acquired through on-the-job training may be specific to an occupation and therefore transferable to some but not all firms. This paper explores the relationship between the size of the local market for an occupation-specific skill and job-training outcomes. The Stevens (1994) model of training predicts that as market size increases, job turnover increases and training becomes more general. I test these predictions using data on blue-collar workers and variation in market size across U.S. metropolitan areas. The empirical results support the theoretical predictions and the impacts are most relevant at low levels of market size.

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    File URL: http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/ec050020.pdf
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    Paper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 376.

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    Length: 45 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec050020
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    1. Farber, Henry S., 1999. "Mobility and stability: The dynamics of job change in labor markets," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 37, pages 2439-2483 Elsevier.
    2. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-23, April.
    3. Wheeler, Christopher H, 2001. "Search, Sorting, and Urban Agglomeration," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 879-99, October.
    4. Acemoglu, D. & Pischki, J.S., 1996. "Why Do Firms Train? Theory and Evidence," Working papers 96-7, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Alan Manning & Ted To, 2002. "Oligopsony and Monopsonistic Competition in Labor Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 155-174, Spring.
    6. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
    7. Li Gan & Qinghua Zhang, 2005. "The Thick Market Effect on Local Unemployment Rate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 11248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
    9. David H. Autor, 2000. "Why Do Temporary Help Firms Provide Free General Skills Training?," NBER Working Papers 7637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
    11. Simon, Curtis J, 1988. "Frictional Unemployment and the Role of Industrial Diversity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(4), pages 715-28, November.
    12. Iourii Manovskii & Gueorgui Kambourov, 2004. "Occupational Specificity of Human Capital," 2004 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
    14. Dickins, William T, 1990. "Error Components in Grouped Data: Is It Ever Worth Weighting?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 328-33, May.
    15. Diamond, Charles A & Simon, Curtis J, 1990. "Industrial Specialization and the Returns to Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 175-201, April.
    16. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-77, October.
    17. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:403-438 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
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