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Employer Learning and the Returns to Schooling

  • Bauer, Thomas K.

    ()

    (RWI)

  • Haisken-DeNew, John P.

    ()

    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

We examine the dynamic role of education and experience as determinants of wages. It is hypothesized that an employee’s education is an important signal to the employer initially. Over time, the returns to schooling should decrease with labor market experience and increase with initially unobserved ability, since the employer gradually obtains better information on the productivity of an employee. Replicating US studies using data from a large German panel data set (GSOEP), we find no evidence for the employer learning hypothesis for Germany. Differentiating blue-collar and white-collar workers and estimating quantile regressions, however, leads to the conclusion that employer learning takes place for blue-collar workers at the lower end of the wage distribution. We further show, that information on the productivity of an employee is to a large extend private.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 146.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Labour Economics, 2001, 8 (2), 161-180; see IZA Reprints 88/01
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp146
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  1. van Ours, Jan & Ridder, Geert, 1992. "Vacancies and the Recruitment of New Employees," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 138-55, April.
  2. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(3), pages 347-68, September.
  3. Farber, Henry S & Gibbons, Robert, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-47, November.
  4. van Ours, J.C. & Ridder, G., 1992. "Vacancies and recruitment of new employees," Other publications TiSEM 9acc708a-0885-46a2-aef5-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  5. Barron, John M & Bishop, John & Dunkelberg, William C, 1985. "Employer Search: The Interviewing and Hiring of New Employees," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 43-52, February.
  6. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F., 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Scholarly Articles 3442782, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  8. Booth, Alison L, 1991. "Job-Related Formal Training: Who Receives It and What Is It Worth?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(3), pages 281-94, August.
  9. Joseph G. Altonji & James R. Spletzer, 1991. "Worker characteristics, job characteristics, and the receipt of on-the-job training," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(1), pages 58-79, October.
  10. Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1996. "Continuous Training in Germany," NBER Working Papers 5829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Lynch, Lisa M, 1992. "Private-Sector Training and the Earnings of Young Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 299-312, March.
  12. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. "Time, Salary, and Incentive Payoffs in Labor Contracts," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 25-44, January.
  13. Greenhalgh, C. & Mavrotas, G., 1992. "The Role of Career Aspirations and Financial Constraints in Individual Access to Vocational Training," Economics Series Working Papers 99136, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  14. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  15. Bauer, Thomas K. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2001. "Employer learning and the returns to schooling," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 161-180, May.
  16. John Mullahy, 1999. "Interaction Effects and Difference-in-Difference Estimation in Loglinear Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  18. Lippman, Steven A & McCall, John J, 1976. "The Economics of Job Search: A Survey: Part I," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 14(2), pages 155-89, June.
  19. Grund, Christian, 1999. "Stigma effects of layoffs?: Evidence from German micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 241-247, August.
  20. Denise J. Doiron, 1995. "Lay-Offs as Signals: The Canadian Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 899-913, November.
  21. Greenhalgh, Christine & Stewart, Mark, 1982. "The effects and Determinants of Training," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 213, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  22. Riley, John G, 1979. "Testing the Educational Screening Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S227-52, October.
  23. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-142178 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Layard, Richard & Psacharopoulos, George, 1974. "The Screening Hypothesis and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(5), pages 985-98, Sept./Oct.
  25. Psacharopoulos, George, 1979. "On the weak versus the strong version of the screening hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 181-185.
  26. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
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