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Earnings Progression, Human Capital and Incentives: Theory and Evidence

  • Frederiksen, Anders

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

The career prospects of newly recruited employees differ substantially within an organization. The stars experience a considerable growth in earnings; others can hardly maintain their entry salaries. This article sheds light on the mechanisms generating the observed heterogeneity in earnings progression by investigating the effects of on-the-job human capital acquisition, explicit short-run incentives and career concern incentives on earnings progression. The model leads to predictions about the incentive structure and the progression in both cross-sectional and individual earnings which are supported by the empirical analysis based on personnel records from a large bank.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4863.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Incentives and Earnings Growth' in: Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2013, 85 (1), 97-107
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4863
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  1. Farber, Henry S & Gibbons, Robert, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-47, November.
  2. Koch, Alexander K. & Morgenstern, Albrecht & Raab, Philippe, 2009. "Career concerns incentives: An experimental test," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 571-588, October.
  3. Irlenbusch, Bernd & Sliwka, Dirk, 2003. "Career Concerns in a Simple Experimental Labour Market," IZA Discussion Papers 855, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. MaCurdy, Thomas E., 1982. "The use of time series processes to model the error structure of earnings in a longitudinal data analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 83-114, January.
  5. Lillard, Lee A & Willis, Robert J, 1978. "Dynamic Aspects of Earning Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 985-1012, September.
  6. Borland, Jeff, 1992. " Career Concerns: Incentives and Endogenous Learning in Labour Markets," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 251-70.
  7. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
  8. Fabian Lange, 2007. "The Speed of Employer Learning," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 1-35.
  9. Costas Meghir & Luigi Pistaferri, 2001. "Income variance dynamics and heterogenity," IFS Working Papers W01/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1993. "Subjective Performance Measures in Optimal Incentive Contracts," NBER Working Papers 4480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory Of Wage And Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358, November.
  13. Lillard, Lee A & Weiss, Yoram, 1979. "Components of Variation in Panel Earnings Data: American Scientists, 1960-70," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 437-54, March.
  14. Murphy, K.J. & Gibbons, R., 1990. "Optimal Incentive Contracts in the Presence of Career Concerns : Theory and Evidence," Papers 90-09, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  15. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  16. Judith Chevalier & Glenn Ellison, 1999. "Career Concerns Of Mutual Fund Managers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 389-432, May.
  17. Baker, George & Gibbs, Michael & Holmstrom, Bengt, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-55, November.
  18. John M. Abowd & David Card, 1986. "On the Covariance Structure of Earnings and Hours Changes," NBER Working Papers 1832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
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