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Matching, Human Capital, and the Covariance Structure of Earnings

  • Daniel Parent

Using method of moments techniques (ref: Chamberlain (1984), Gallant and Jorgenson (1979)), this paper's objective is to test the predictions of the theory of job-matching and the theory of human capital pertaining to the covariance structure of residuals from a typical Mincer log earnings equation. The selection process implicit to job matching is such that we should observe a decrease in the contribution of the variance of the job-match component when we follow the workers as they acquire tenure in their job. Results are generally in agreement with these predicted patterns, especially in the case of more educated workers. On the other hand, if jobs are considered as pure experience goods, the predicted increase in the variance at the start of the employment relationship is not supported by the data, except perhaps for less educated workers. Turning next to human capital theory, the predicted trade-off between the job-specific intercept and slope parameters is strongly supported by the data, especially in the case of workers having at least a High School diploma. Par le biais de la méthode des moments (réf.: Chamberlain (1984), Gallant et Jorgenson (1979)) et avec des données non balancées du NLSY, cette étude cherche à tester les prédictions engendrées par la théorie du matching ainsi que la théorie du capital humain quant à la structure de covariance des résidus d'une équation de salaire typique à la Mincer. Le processus de sélection qu'implique le matching fait en sorte que l'on devrait observer une diminution de la contribution du terme reflétant la variance dans la qualité du match lorsque l'on suit les travailleurs à mesure qu'ils acquièrent de l'ancienneté dans leur emploi. Les résultats corroborent cette prédiction surtout pour les travailleurs plus scolarisés. Par contre, dans la version pure experience good de la théorie, la prédiction à l'effet que la variance devrait s'accroître au tout début de la relation d'emploi s'avère non validée par les résultats, sauf peut-être pour les travailleurs moins scolarisés. Par ailleurs, la théorie du capital humain prédit que l'on devrait observer une corrélation négative entre la pente (le rendement lié à l'ancienneté) et l'ordonnée (ou salaire) à l'origine dans un emploi puisque les travailleurs sont supposés payer pour la formation. Ce résultat aussi est corroboré, surtout pour les travailleurs ayant au moins un diplôme d'école secondaire.

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File URL: http://www.cirano.qc.ca/files/publications/95s-25.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 95s-25.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-25
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  2. MacLeod, W. Bentley & Malcomson, James M., 1993. "Specific investment and wage profiles in labour markets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 343-354, April.
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  8. 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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  11. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1999. "Do Workers Pay for On-The-Job Training?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 235-252.
  12. Mortensen, Dale T, 1988. "Wages, Separations, and Job Tenure: On-the-Job Specific Training or Matching?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(4), pages 445-71, October.
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  14. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1994. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 707, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  15. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. McCall, John J, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-26, February.
  18. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005. "Do wages rise with job seniority? A reassessment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
  19. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1979. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Working Papers 0357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
  25. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, August.
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  29. 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.
  30. Kearl, J R, 1988. "The Covariance Structure of Earnings and Income, Compensatory Behavior, and On-the-Job Investments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 214-23, May.
  31. Marshall, Robert C & Zarkin, Gary A, 1987. "The Effect of Job Tenure on Wage Offers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 301-24, July.
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  33. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
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