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Firm Dynamics and Assortative Matching

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  • Leland D. Crane

Abstract

I study the relationship between firm growth and the characteristics of newly hired workers. Using Census microdata I obtain a novel empirical result: when a given firm grows faster it hires workers with higher past wages. These results suggest that productive, fast-growing firms tend to hire more productive workers, a form of positive assortative matching. This contrasts with prior research that has found negligible or negative sorting between workers and firms. I present evidence that this difference arises because previous studies have focused on cross-sectional comparisons across firms and industries, while my results condition on firm characteristics (e.g. size, industry, or firm fixed effects). Motivated by the empirical findings I develop a search model with heterogeneous workers and firms. The model is the first to study worker-firm sorting in an environment with worker heterogeneity, firm productivity shocks, multi-worker firms, and search frictions. Despite this richness the model is tractable, allowing me to characterize assortative matching, compositional dynamics and other properties analytically. I show that the model reproduces the positive firm growth-quality of hires correlation when worker and firm types are strong complements in production (i.e. the production function is strictly log-supermodular).

Suggested Citation

  • Leland D. Crane, 2014. "Firm Dynamics and Assortative Matching," Working Papers 14-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:14-25
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    1. Raven Molloy & Christopher L. Smith & Abigail Wozniak, 2013. "Declining Migration wihin the US: The Role of the Labor Market," Working Papers 13-53, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Assortative Matching; Firm Growth; Wages; Unemployment; Vacancies; Search Theory; Microdata;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search

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