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Raising the bar for models of turnover

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  • Erwan Quintin
  • John J. Stevens

Abstract

It is well known that turnover rates fall with employee tenure and employer size. We document a new empirical fact about turnover: Among surviving employers, separation rates are positively related to industry-level exit rates, even after controlling for tenure and size. Specifically, in a dataset with over 13 million matched employee-employer observations for France, we find that, all else equal, a 1 percentage point increase in exit rates raises separation rates by 1/2 percentage point on average. Among current year hires, the average effect is twice as large. This relationship between exit rates and separation rates is robust to a host of data and statistical considerations. We review several standard models of worker turnover and argue that a model with firm-specific human capital accumulation most easily accounts for this new empirical fact.

Suggested Citation

  • Erwan Quintin & John J. Stevens, 2005. "Raising the bar for models of turnover," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2005-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2005-23
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. 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.
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    5. 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, February.
    6. 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.
    7. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
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    11. Greene, William, 1998. "Sample selection in credit-scoring models1," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 299-316, July.
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    17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-1260, December.
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    1. 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.

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    Keywords

    Labor turnover ; Human capital ; Econometric models;

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