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Tenure and Experience Effects on Wages: A Theory

  • Ken Burdett
  • Melvyn Coles

This paper investigates equilibria in a labor market where firms post wage/tenure contracts and risk-averse workers, both employed and unemployed, search for better paid job opportunities. Different firms typically offer different contracts. Workers accumulate general human capital through learning-by-doing. With on-the-job search, a worker’s wage evolves endogenously over time through experience effects, tenure effects and quits to better paid employment. This equilibrium approach suggests how to identify econometrically between experience and tenure effects on worker wages.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3203.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3203
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  1. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 1992. "The Effects of Labor Market Experience, Job Seniority, and Job Mobility on Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 4133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  4. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2007. "Job Search, Bargaining, and Wage Dynamics," Department of Economics Working Papers 2007-03, McMaster University.
  5. Margaret Stevens, 2004. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms' Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(2), pages 535-551.
  6. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, 03.
  7. Jean-Marc Robin & Francois Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jesper Bagger, 2011. "A Feasible Equilibrium Search Model of Individual Wage Dynamics with Experience Accumulation," 2011 Meeting Papers 278, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Shouyong Shi, 2006. "Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Working Papers tecipa-260, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  10. 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.
  11. Léonard,Daniel & Long,Ngo van, 1992. "Optimal Control Theory and Static Optimization in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521331586.
  12. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1990. "Estimating a Market Equilibrium Search Model from Panel Data on Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 783-808, July.
  13. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-97, June.
  14. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, December.
  15. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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