IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Exploration for human capital: Theory and evidence from the MBA labor market

Listed author(s):
  • Kuhnen, Camelia M.
  • Oyer, Paul

Drawing on insights from corporate finance and personnel economics, we show that firms consider potential employees using a real options approach, much as they do when making other types of capital investment decisions. Theoretically we find that firms’ hiring decisions are influenced by the uncertainty in workers’ productivity, competition in the labor market, adjustment costs, and redeployability concerns. Firms value probationary employment arrangements that provide the option to learn about the productivity of potential hires before permanent investment occurs. Higher uncertainty and adjustment costs hinder permanent investment and increase the value of the option to learn. Greater competition for workers speeds up firm investment and increases the value of probationary employment. Higher worker redeployability leads to more investment, if firms face sufficiently low competition. We test and confirm these predictions empirically using a novel dataset with detailed recruiting information from the labor market for MBA graduates.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/39411/1/MPRA_paper_39411.pdf
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 39411.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 08 Jun 2012
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39411
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Bulan, Laarni & Mayer, Christopher & Somerville, C. Tsuriel, 2009. "Irreversible investment, real options, and competition: Evidence from real estate development," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 237-251, May.
  2. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
  3. Steven R. Grenadier & Andrey Malenko, 2010. "A Bayesian Approach to Real Options: The Case of Distinguishing between Temporary and Permanent Shocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1949-1986, October.
  4. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2015. "Matching Firms, Managers, and Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 623-681.
  5. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice B. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, "undated". "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  6. Alvin E Roth & Richard A Posner & Christine Jolls & Christopher Avery, 2007. "The New Market for Federal Judicial Law Clerks," Levine's Bibliography 843644000000000288, UCLA Department of Economics.
  7. Williams, Joseph T, 1993. "Equilibrium and Options on Real Assets," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(4), pages 825-850.
  8. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones Or Dead Ends?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(480), pages 189-213, June.
  9. Susan N. Houseman, 2001. "Why Employers Use Flexible Staffing Arrangements: Evidence from an Establishment Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(1), pages 149-170, October.
  10. Luigi Guiso & Giuseppe Parigi, 1999. "Investment and Demand Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 185-227.
  11. Marko Tervio, 2008. "The Difference That CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 642-668, June.
  12. Christopher R. Cunningham, 2007. "Growth Controls, Real Options, and Land Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 343-358, May.
  13. Guell, Maia & Petrongolo, Barbara, 2007. "How binding are legal limits? Transitions from temporary to permanent work in Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 153-183, April.
  14. Muriel Niederle & Alvin E. Roth, 2003. "Unraveling Reduces Mobility in a Labor Market: Gastroenterology with and without a Centralized Match," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1342-1352, December.
  15. Neal, Derek, 1995. "Industry-Specific Human Capital: Evidence from Displaced Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 653-677, October.
  16. Lisa B. Kahn & Fabian Lange, 2014. "Employer Learning, Productivity, and the Earnings Distribution: Evidence from Performance Measures," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1575-1613.
  17. Michael Waldman, 1984. "Job Assignments, Signalling, and Efficiency," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(2), pages 255-267, Summer.
  18. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-1047.
  19. Kuhnen, Camelia M., 2010. "Searching for Jobs: Evidence from MBA Graduates," MPRA Paper 21975, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Jonathan Levin, 2002. "Multilateral Contracting and the Employment Relationship," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(3), pages 1075-1103.
  21. Wallace Hendricks & Lawrence DeBrock & Roger Koenker, 2003. "Uncertainty, Hiring, and Subsequent Performance: The NFL Draft," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 857-886, October.
  22. Jonathan B. Berk & Richard Stanton & Josef Zechner, 2010. "Human Capital, Bankruptcy, and Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(3), pages 891-926, 06.
  23. Ron Kaniel & Cade Massey & David T. Robinson, 2010. "The Importance of Being an Optimist: Evidence from Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 16328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Steven R. Grenadier, 2002. "Option Exercise Games: An Application to the Equilibrium Investment Strategies of Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(3), pages 691-721.
  25. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  26. James L. Paddock & Daniel R. Siegel & James L. Smith, 1988. "Option Valuation of Claims on Real Assets: The Case of Offshore Petroleum Leases," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 479-508.
  27. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
  28. Brennan, Michael J & Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1985. "Evaluating Natural Resource Investments," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(2), pages 135-157, April.
  29. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
  30. Robert McDonald & Daniel Siegel, 1986. "The Value of Waiting to Invest," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(4), pages 707-727.
  31. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash K. Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-777.
  32. Alberto Moel, 2002. "When Are Real Options Exercised? An Empirical Study of Mine Closings," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 35-64, March.
  33. Li, Hao & Rosen, Sherwin, 1998. "Unraveling in Matching Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 371-387, June.
  34. Paul Oyer, 2008. "The Making of an Investment Banker: Stock Market Shocks, Career Choice, and Lifetime Income," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(6), pages 2601-2628, December.
  35. Parent, Daniel, 2000. "Industry-Specific Capital and the Wage Profile: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 306-323, April.
  36. Titman, Sheridan, 1985. "Urban Land Prices under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 505-514, June.
  37. Paige Ouimet & Rebecca Zarutskie, 2011. "Acquiring Labor," Working Papers 11-32, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39411. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.