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Learning from experience or learning from others? Inferring informal training from a human capital earnings function with matched employer–employee data

  • Guillaume Destré

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne)

  • Louis Lévy-Garboua

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

  • Michel Sollogoub

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Paris I - Panthéon-Sorbonne, EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

A model of informal training which combines learning from own experience and learning from others is proposed in this paper. It yields a closed-form solution that revises Mincer–Jovanovic's [Mincer, J., Jovanovic, B., 1981. Labor mobility and wages. In: Rosen, S. (Ed.), Studies in Labor Markets. Chicago University Press, Chicago, pp. 21–64] treatment of tenure in the human capital earnings function. We estimate the structural parameters of this non-linear model on a large French cross-section with matched employer–employee data. We find that workers on average can learn from others 10% of their own human capital on entering one plant, and catch half of their learning from others' potential in just 2 years. The private marginal returns to education are declining with education as more educated workers have less to learn from others and share the social returns of their own education with their less qualified co-workers. The potential for learning from others on the job varies across jobs and establishments, and this provides a new distinction between imitation jobs and experience jobs. Workers in imitation jobs, who learn most from others, tend to have considerably longer tenure than workers in experience jobs. Although workers in experience jobs can learn little from others, we find that they learn a lot by themselves. We document several analogies between the imitation jobs/experience jobs “dualism” and the primary/secondary jobs and firms' dualism implied by the dual labor market theory. However, our binary classification of jobs depicts the data more closely than the dual theory categorization into primary-type and secondary-type establishments. Competition prevails between jobs and firms but jobs differ by their learning technology.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-00304283.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Publication status: Published, Journal of Socio-Economics, 2008, 37, 3, 919-938
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00304283
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00304283
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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  1. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1979. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Working Papers 0357, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  3. Barron, John M & Black, Dan A & Loewenstein, Mark A, 1989. "Job Matching and On-the-Job Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 1-19, January.
  4. Green, Francis & Ashton, David & Felstead, Alan, 2001. "Estimating the Determinants of Supply of Computing, Problem-Solving, Communication, Social, and Teamworking Skills," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 406-33, July.
  5. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Firm-Level Social Returns to Education," IZA Discussion Papers 1382, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, August.
  8. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
  9. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  10. Harminder Battu & Clive R. Belfield & Peter J. Sloane, 2003. "Human Capital Spillovers within the Workplace: Evidence for Great Britain," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(5), pages 575-594, December.
  11. Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis & Kenneth R. Troske & John M. Abowd, 2000. "Politiques salariales et performances des entreprises : une comparaison France/États-Unis," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 332(1), pages 27-38.
  12. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
  13. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  14. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  15. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 1997. "On-the-Job Training," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ojt, June.
  16. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
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