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Stepping Stone Mobility

Listed author(s):
  • Boyan Jovanovic
  • Yaw Nyarko

People at the top of an occupational ladder earn more partly because they have spent time on lower rungs, where they have learned something. But what precisely do they learn? There are two contrasting views: First, the Bandit model assumes that people are different, that experience reveals their characteristics, and that consequently an occupational switch can result. Second, in our Stepping Stone model, experience raises a worker's productivity on a given task and the acquired skill can in part be transferred to other occupations, and this prompts movement. Safe activities (where mistakes destroy less output) are a natural training ground.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5651.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5651.

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Date of creation: Jul 1996
Publication status: published as Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Volume 46, June 1997, pp. 289-325
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5651
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