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Length of Service and the Operation of Internal Labor Markets

  • Katharine G. Abraham
  • James L. Medoff

This paper presents a summary of the evidence which has recently been collected concerning the role of length of service in the operation of internal labor markets. It argues that these data are inconsistent with the human capital model of the experience-earnings and experience-layoff relationships. The paper concludes by asserting that if we are ever to fully understand the role of service, newdata are needed.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1085.

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Date of creation: Mar 1983
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting, December 28-30, 1982, Industrial Relations Research Association, pp. 208-218.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1085
Note: LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
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  1. Charles Brown, 1982. "Estimating the Determinants of Employee Performance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(2), pages 178-194.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Rivkin, Steven G., 2006. "Teacher Quality," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  3. Dan H. Mater, 1941. "A Statistical Study of the Effect of Seniority Upon Employee Efficiency," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14, pages 169.
  4. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  5. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1981. "Are Those Paid More Really More Productive? The Case of Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(2), pages 186-216.
  6. Gary S. Becker & George J. Stigler, 1974. "Law Enforcement, Malfeasance, and Compensation of Enforcers," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 1-18, January.
  7. Medoff, James L & Abraham, Katharine G, 1980. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 703-36, December.
  8. Summers, Anita A & Wolfe, Barbara L, 1977. "Do Schools Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(4), pages 639-52, September.
  9. Yannis M. Ioannides & Christopher A. Pissarides, 1983. "Wages and Employment With Firm-Specific Seniority," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 573-580, Autumn.
  10. Katharine G. Abraham & James L. Medoff, 1983. "Length of Service, Terminations and the Nature of the Employment Relationship," NBER Working Papers 1086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Katharine G. Abraham & James L. Medoff, 1983. "Years of Service and Probability of Promotion," NBER Working Papers 1191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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