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Validating Hiring Criteria

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  • Andrew Weiss
  • Henry Landau

Abstract

We construct a model in which firms use workers' productivities in determining their job assignments. A worker's productivity must exceed some lower bound to satisfy the minimum qualifications for a particular job. If the worker's productivity exceeds some upper bound he is promoted. Under these conditions it is possible that the better educated and more experienced individuals would be the least productive workers on every job, even though, for each worker, education and experience increases his productivity. Whether this anomalous result occurs depends on the underlying distribution of ability in the population and the job assignment policy delineated above. One implication of our analysis is that firms that use hiring criteria that accurately predict a worker's success on the job may not be able to validate those criteria through measurements of the performance of the workers that they had hired. EEOC rules that require hiring criteria to be validated in that fashion may penalize firms with the most efficient hiring and promotion standards.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Weiss & Henry Landau, 1987. "Validating Hiring Criteria," NBER Working Papers 2167, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2167
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lazear, Edward P, 1981. "Agency, Earnings Profiles, Productivity, and Hours Restrictions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 606-620, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Calvo, Guillermo A & Wellisz, Stanislaw, 1979. "Hierarchy, Ability, and Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 991-1010, October.
    4. J. Luis Guasch & Andrew Weiss, 1982. "An Equilibrium Analysis of Wage—Productivity Gaps," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(4), pages 485-497.
    5. James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980. "Experience, Performance, and Earnings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 95(4), pages 703-736.
    6. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    7. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
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