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Does the Color of the Collar Matter? Firm Specific Human Capital and Post-Displacement Outcomes


  • Schwerdt, Guido

    () (University of Konstanz)

  • Ichino, Andrea

    () (European University Institute)

  • Ruf, Oliver

    () (Suva)

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

    () (University of Linz)

  • Zweimüller, Josef

    () (University of Zurich)


We investigate whether the costs of job displacement differ between blue collar and white collar workers. In the short run earnings and employment losses are substantial for both groups but stronger for white collar workers. In the long run, there are only weak effects for blue collar workers but strong and persistent effects for white collars. This is consistent with the idea that firm-specific human capital and internal labor markets are more important in white-collar than in blue collar jobs.

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  • Schwerdt, Guido & Ichino, Andrea & Ruf, Oliver & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 2008. "Does the Color of the Collar Matter? Firm Specific Human Capital and Post-Displacement Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3617, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3617

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    2. Schwerdt, Guido, 2011. "Labor turnover before plant closure: "Leaving the sinking ship" vs. "Captain throwing ballast overboard"," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 93-101, January.
    3. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lehmann, Hartmut & Muravyev, Alexander & Razzolini, Tiziano & Zaiceva, Anzelika, 2010. "The Costs of Job Loss in Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 5415, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Beartice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "To Shape the Future: How Labor Market Entry Conditions Affect Individuals’s Long-Run Wage Profiles," NRN working papers 2009-29, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    3. Beblavý, Miroslav & Thum, Anna-Elisabeth & Potjagailo, Galina, 2013. "When do adults learn? A cohort analysis of adult education in Europe," CEPS Papers 8059, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    4. Beatrice Brunner & Andreas Kuhn, 2009. "To shape the future: How labor market entry conditions affect individuals' long-run wage profiles," IEW - Working Papers 457, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    5. H. Lehmann & A. Muravyev & T. Razzolini & A. Zaiceva, 2011. "The Wage and Non-wage Costs of Displacement: Evidence from Russia," Working Papers wp734, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    6. Brunner, Beatrice & Kuhn, Andreas, 2009. "To Shape the Future: How Labor Market Entry Conditions Affect Individuals' Long-Run Wage Profiles," IZA Discussion Papers 4601, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item


    plant closures; firm specific human capital; matching;

    JEL classification:

    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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