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Experience, Performance, and Earnings

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  • James L. Medoff
  • Katharine G. Abraham

Abstract

This study provides direct evidence concerning the relationship between experience and performance among managerial and professional employees doing similar work in two major U. S. corporations. The facts presented indicate that while, within grade levels, there is a strong positive association between experience and relative earnings, there is either no association or a negative association between experience and relative rated performance. If we are correct that the performance ratings given to managerial and professional employees in any grade level adequately reflect those employees' relative productivity in the year of assessment, the results imply that the human capital on-the-job training model cannot explain a substantial part of the ob-served return to labor market experience.

Suggested Citation

  • James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 0278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0278
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, March.
    2. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    3. Martin Neil Baily, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50.
    4. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling and Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 41-63, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
    6. Joanne Salop & Steven Salop, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-627.
    7. Joanne Salop & Steven C. Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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