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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. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1991. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 3764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2000. "Continuous Training In Germany," CEPR Discussion Papers 2428, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Bauer, Thomas & Haisken-DeNew, John P, 2000. "Employer Learning And The Returns To Schooling," CEPR Discussion Papers 2445, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-80, October.
  10. Grund, Christian, 1999. "Stigma effects of layoffs?: Evidence from German micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 241-247, August.
  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. Greenhalgh, Christine & Mavrotas, George, 1994. "The Role of Career Aspirations and Financial Constraints in Individual Access to Vocational Training," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 579-604, October.
  13. 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.
  14. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
  15. 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.
  16. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  17. Psacharopoulos, George, 1979. "On the weak versus the strong version of the screening hypothesis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 181-185.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. John Mullahy, 1999. "Interaction Effects and Difference-in-Difference Estimation in Loglinear Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  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. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Joseph G. Altonji & James R. Spletzer, 1991. "Worker Characteristics, Job Characteristics, and the Receipt of On-the-Job Training," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(1), pages 58-79, October.
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