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Experience, Performance, and Earnings

  • James L. Medoff
  • Katharine G. Abraham

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w0278.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 0278.

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Date of creation: Dec 1980
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Publication status: published as Medoff, James L. and Abraham, Katharine G. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings." The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. XCV, No. 4, (December 1980), pp. 703-736.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0278
Note: LS
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  1. Azariadis, Costas, 1975. "Implicit Contracts and Underemployment Equilibria," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(6), pages 1183-1202, December.
  2. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  3. Baily, Martin Neil, 1974. "Wages and Employment under Uncertain Demand," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 37-50, January.
  4. Joanne Salop & Steve Salop, 1976. "Self-selection and turnover in the labor market," Special Studies Papers 80, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Salop, Joanne & Salop, Steven, 1976. "Self-Selection and Turnover in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 619-27, November.
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