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Firm specific human capital vs. job matching: a new test

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  • Erwan Quintin
  • John J. Stevens

Abstract

We use a unique data set on employee turnover by industry in Arizona to test competing theories of turnover. We find that industries with lower establishment survival rates have more employee turnover, even after controlling for differences in the distribution of employee tenure. This result is consistent with a model of turnover where employees choose how much firm specific human capital to accumulate, but it is inconsistent with job matching models.

Suggested Citation

  • Erwan Quintin & John J. Stevens, 2003. "Firm specific human capital vs. job matching: a new test," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2003-33
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mortensen, Dale & Pissarides, Christopher, 2011. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 1, pages 1-19.
    2. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-620, September.
    3. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    4. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    5. Quintin Erwan & Stevens John J., 2005. "Growing Old Together: Firm Survival and Employee Turnover," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-32, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Thomas J. Holmes & John J. Stevens, 2002. "Geographic Concentration and Establishment Scale," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 682-690, November.
    8. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:26:y:1994:i:1994-3:p:177-248 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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 145-176, February.
    10. Joseph G. Altonji & Robert A. Shakotko, 1987. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(3), pages 437-459.
    11. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-297, June.
    12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-1260, December.
    13. Barron, John M & Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1997. "How Well Do We Measure Training?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 507-528, July.
    14. William E. Even & David A. MacPherson, 1996. "Employer Size and Labor Turnover: The Role of Pensions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(4), pages 707-728, July.
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    Keywords

    Employment (Economic theory);

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