Mediocrity in Talent Markets
A model of a labor market is proposed where the level of individual talent can only be learned on the job and where job positions are scarce. Inability to commit to long-term contracts leaves firms with insufficient incentives to hire novices, causing them to bid excessively for the pool of revealed talent instead. This causes the market to be plagued with too many mediocre workers and inefficiently low output levels, while simultaneously raising the wages for high talents. This problem is most severe where information about talent is initially very imprecise but revealed relatively quickly on the job. I argue that high incomes in professions such as entertainment, team sports, and entrepreneurship, may at least partly be explained by the nature of the talent revelation process in those markets. I suggest historical episodes that could be used to identify the inefficiency and the excessive talent rents predicted by the model.
|Date of creation:||06 Nov 2003|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 2521 Channing Way # 5555, Berkeley, CA 94720-5555|
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/iir_iirwps/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
- Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," NBER Working Papers 0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
- Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
- Thomas Sargent, "undated". "Matlab code for Jovanovic's matching model," QM&RBC Codes 24, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Harris, Milton & Weiss, Yoram, 1984. "Job Matching with Finite Horizon and Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(4), pages 758-779, August.
- Glenn MacDonald & Michael S. Weisbach, 2004. "The Economics of Has-beens," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 289-310, February.
- Glenn MacDonald & Michael Weisbach, 2001. "The Economics of Has-Beens," NBER Working Papers 8464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- O'Flaherty, Brendan & Siow, Aloysius, 1995. "Up-or-Out Rules in the Market for Lawyers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 709-735, October.
- O'Flaherty, B. & Siow, A., 1990. "Up or Out Rules in the Market for Lawers," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 90-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- 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 423-444, October.
- Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
- Michael Waldman, 1984. "Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
- Michael Waldman, 1983. "Job Assignments, Signalling nad Efficiency," UCLA Economics Working Papers 286, UCLA Department of Economics.
- L. Wade, 1988. "Review," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 99-100, July.
- Miller, Robert A, 1984. "Job Matching and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(6), pages 1086-1120, December.
- Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
- William R. Johnson, 1978. "A Theory of Job Shopping," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(2), pages 261-277.
- Demougin, Dominique & Siow, Aloysius, 1994. "Careers in Ongoing Hierarchies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1261-1277, December.
- Dominique Demougin & Aloysius Siow, 1992. "Careers in Ongoing Hierarchies," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 5, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal.
- Bruce C. Greenwald, 1986. "Adverse Selection in the Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 325-347. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt7411j2vx. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.