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Cyclical Job Ladders by Firm Size and Firm Wage

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  • John Haltiwanger
  • Henry Hyatt
  • Lisa B. Kahn
  • Erika McEntarfer

Abstract

We study whether workers progress up firm wage and size job ladders, and the cyclicality of this movement. Search theory predicts that workers should flow towards larger, higher paying firms. However, we see little evidence of a firm size ladder, partly because small, young firms poach workers from all other businesses. In contrast, we find strong evidence of a firm wage ladder that is highly procyclical. During the Great Recession, this firm wage ladder collapsed, with net worker reallocation to higher wage firms falling to zero. The earnings consequences from this lack of upward progression are sizable.

Suggested Citation

  • John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Lisa B. Kahn & Erika McEntarfer, 2017. "Cyclical Job Ladders by Firm Size and Firm Wage," NBER Working Papers 23485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23485
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Henry Hyatt & James Spletzer, 2013. "The recent decline in employment dynamics," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, December.
    2. Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2012. "Job-to-Job Flows in the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 580-583, May.
    3. repec:eee:labeco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:166-176 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. John M. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Julia Lane & Paul Lengermann & Kristin McCue & Kevin McKinney & Kristin Sandusky, 2005. "The Relation among Human Capital, Productivity, and Market Value: Building Up from Micro Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 153-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
    6. John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2015. "Cyclical Reallocation of Workers Across Employers by Firm Size and Firm Wage," NBER Working Papers 21235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Lisa B. Kahn & Jamin D. Speer, 2016. "Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 361-401.
    8. Hyatt, Henry R. & Spletzer, James R., 2017. "The recent decline of single quarter jobs," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 166-176.
    9. Isaac Sorkin, 2018. "Ranking Firms Using Revealed Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1331-1393.
    10. John M. Abowd & Bryce E. Stephens & Lars Vilhuber & Fredrik Andersson & Kevin L. McKinney & Marc Roemer & Simon Woodcock, 2009. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 149-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2013. "Who Creates Jobs? Small versus Large versus Young," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 347-361, May.
    12. Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer & Kevin McKinney & Stephen Tibbets & Doug Walton, 2014. "JOB-TO-JOB (J2J) Flows: New Labor Market Statistics From Linked Employer-Employee Data," Working Papers 14-34, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Cody Henderson & Henry Hyatt, 2012. "Estimation of Job-to-Job Flow Rates under Partially Missing Geography," Working Papers 12-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    14. John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer & Liliana Sousa & Stephen Tibbets, 2014. "Firm Age And Size In The Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Data," Working Papers 14-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    15. Joyce Hahn & Henry Hyatt & Hubert Janicki, 2018. "Job Ladders and Growth in Earnings, Hours, and Wages," 2018 Meeting Papers 908, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2012. "Job-to-Job Flows and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 12-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:oup:qjecon:v:133:y:2018:i:3:p:1331-1393. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Borowczyk-Martins, Daniel & Lalé, Etienne, 2018. "The Ins and Outs of Involuntary Part-Time Employment," IZA Discussion Papers 11826, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. repec:eee:labeco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:75-96 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bachmann, Ronald & David, Peggy, 2009. "The importance of two-sided heterogeneity for the cyclicality of labour market dynamics," Technical Reports 2009,05, Technische Universität Dortmund, Sonderforschungsbereich 475: Komplexitätsreduktion in multivariaten Datenstrukturen.
    5. Isaac Sorkin, 2018. "Ranking Firms Using Revealed Preference," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1331-1393.
    6. Azar, José & Marinescu, Ioana E. & Steinbaum, Marshall & Taska, Bledi, 2018. "Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence from Online Vacancy Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11379, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Brad Hershbein & Lisa B. Kahn, 2018. "Do Recessions Accelerate Routine-Biased Technological Change? Evidence from Vacancy Postings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(7), pages 1737-1772, July.
    8. Cynthia L. Doniger, 2019. "Do Greasy Wheels Curb Inequality?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-021, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US).
    9. John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2018. "Who Moves Up the Job Ladder?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 301-336.
      • John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2015. "Who Moves Up the Job Ladder?," NBER Chapters,in: Firms and the Distribution of Income: The Roles of Productivity and Luck National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Peter Brummund & Laura Connolly, 2019. "Who Creates Stable Jobs? Evidence from Brazil," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 81(3), pages 540-563, June.
    11. Grace Weishi Gu & Eswar Prasad, 2018. "New Evidence on Cyclical Variation in Labor Costs in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 24266, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Leland Crane & Henry Hyatt & Seth Murray, 2018. "Cyclical Labor Market Sorting," 2018 Meeting Papers 939, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. repec:eee:labeco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:47-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Fehn, Rebecca & Frings, Hanna, 2018. "Decomposing the Returns to Regional Mobility," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181609, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    15. Lydon, Reamonn & Lozej, Matija, 2018. "Flexibility of new hires’ earnings in Ireland," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 112-127.
    16. Emilien Gouin-Bonenfant, 2018. "Productivity Dispersion, Between-firm Competition and the Labor Share," 2018 Meeting Papers 1171, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:6:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0720-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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