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Two-Sided Learning, Labor Turnover and Displacement

Author

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  • Gerard A. Pfann
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Abstract

We construct a general dynamic structural model of two-sided learning between a firm and its workers. We estimate an empirical version of the model using personnel data from Fokker Aircraft that cover the path of layoffs and quits through its bankruptcy. We find that the firm learns about its workers' loyalty (demonstrating the role of information in repeated cooperative principal-agent relationships). There is no evidence that workers learn (consistent with earlier empirical results on American workers). The type of data that we use also generates information on the value of learning and on whether and how the characteristics of workers who remain until the firm's death differ from those of all affected workers. It thus allows us to measure the increases in the firm's value from learning about its workers' behavior and to infer the extent of biases in estimated losses from displacement from samples restricted to displaced workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard A. Pfann & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2001. "Two-Sided Learning, Labor Turnover and Displacement," NBER Working Papers 8273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8273
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Radner, Roy, 1981. "Monitoring Cooperative Agreements in a Repeated Principal-Agent Relationship," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1127-1148, September.
    2. Pfann, Gerard A., 2001. "Options to quit," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 259-265, February.
    3. Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1979. "An Empirical Job-Search Model, with a Test of the Constant Reservation-Wage Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(1), pages 89-107, February.
    4. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    5. Bruce C. Fallick, 1996. "A Review of the Recent Empirical Literature on Displaced Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 5-16, October.
    6. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
    7. Felli, Leonardo & Harris, Christopher, 1996. "Learning, Wage Dynamics, and Firm-Specific Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 838-868, August.
    8. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350.
    9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1981. "Race and Sex Differences in Quits by Young Workers," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(4), pages 563-577, July.
    10. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-927, December.
    11. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1991. "A Theory of Quits and Layoffs with Efficient Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 1-29, February.
    12. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "The Costs of Worker Displacement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(1), pages 51-75.
    13. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2008. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 733-753, December.
    2. Emilia Del Bono & Andrea Weber & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2012. "Clash Of Career And Family: Fertility Decisions After Job Displacement," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 659-683, August.
    3. Hamermesh, Daniel, 2008. "Fun with matched firm-employee data: Progress and road maps," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 662-672, August.
    4. von Greiff, Jenny, 2009. "Displacement and self-employment entry," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 556-565, October.
    5. Kenneth A. Counch, 2003. "Job Matching and Wage Growth in the U.S. and Germany," Working papers 2003-10, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    6. Nykvist, Jenny, 2008. "The Effects of Displacement on Self-employment Survival," Working Paper Series 764, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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