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Firm Dynamics and Assortative Matching

  • Leland D. Crane

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).

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2014/CES-WP-14-25.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 14-25.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: May 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:14-25
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  1. Coad, Alex & Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Johansson, Dan & Wennberg, Karl, 2011. "Who do High-growth Firms Employ, and Who do they Hire?," Ratio Working Papers 169, The Ratio Institute.
  2. Melissa Bjelland & Bruce Fallick & John Haltiwanger & Erika McEntarfer, 2007. "Employer-to-employer flows in the United States: estimates using linked employer-employee data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-30, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Francesco Devicienti & Cristian Bartolucci, 2013. "Better Workers Move to Better Firms: A Simple Test to Identify Sorting," 2013 Meeting Papers 249, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Sattinger, Michael, 1995. "Search and the Efficient Assignment of Workers to Jobs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 283-302, May.
  5. Susanna Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2006. "Skill dispersion and firm productivity; an analysis with employer-employee matched data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 577, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Tzuo Hann Law & Iourii Manovskii & Marcus Hagedorn, 2014. "Identifying Equilibrium Models of Labor Market Sorting," 2014 Meeting Papers 896, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  8. Alp E. Atakan, 2006. "Assortative Matching with Explicit Search Costs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 667-680, 05.
  9. Belzil, Christian, 2000. "Job Creation and Job Destruction, Worker Reallocation, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 183-203, April.
  10. Hogan, Vincent, 2004. "Wage aspirations and unemployment persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 1623-1643, November.
  11. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2014. "Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?," NBER Working Papers 20427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Dale T. Mortensen & Bent Jesper Christensen & Jesper Bagger, 2010. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion: Labor Quality or Rent Sharing?," 2010 Meeting Papers 758, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Rasmus Lentz & Jesper Bagger, 2009. "An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting," 2009 Meeting Papers 964, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  16. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
  17. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00353892 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Christopher A. Pissarides, 2000. "Equilibrium Unemployment Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262161877, June.
  19. Michael W. L. Elsby & Ryan Michaels, 2013. "Marginal Jobs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Unemployment Flows," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 1-48, January.
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