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Repeated job quits: stepping stones or learning about quality?

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  • Gielen, A.C.

    (Macro, International & Labour Economics)

Abstract

Despite the fact that worker quits are often associated with wage gains and higher overall job satisfaction, many workers quit once again within one or two years after changing jobs initially. Such repeated job quit behavior may arise as a stepping stone to better quality jobs (Burdett, 1978) or as a response to unexpectedly low job quality (Jovanovic, 1979). This paper tests the validity of both explanations using data from the UK labor market in order to improve our understanding of job search behavior. Results from panel estimations of job quits and job satisfaction illustrate that the labor market is characterized by elements of both explanations. More specifically, a variance decomposition shows that the stepping stone model explains 80 percent of repeated job quit behavior; the remaining 20 percent is the result of learning about job quality. Hence, workers appear to need several job quits to find their most preferred job and multiple job quits serve as a stepping stone to more satisfaction at work.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gielen, A.C., 2008. "Repeated job quits: stepping stones or learning about quality?," ROA Research Memorandum 010, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2008010
    DOI: 10.26481/umaror.2008010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Adele Bergin, 2015. "Employer Changes and Wage Changes: Estimation with Measurement Error in a Binary Variable," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(2), pages 194-223, June.
    3. Lixin Cai, 2015. "The dynamics of low pay employment in Australia," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(7), pages 1095-1123, October.
    4. Eike Emrich & Christian Pierdzioch, 2016. "Volunteering, Match Quality, and Internet Use," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 136(2), pages 199-226.
    5. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2018. "The magic of the new: How job changes affect job satisfaction," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(1), pages 23-39, March.
    6. Haywood, Luke, 2016. "Wealth effects on job preferences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-11.
    7. Adrian Chadi & Clemens Hetschko, 2021. "How Job Changes Affect People's Lives — Evidence from Subjective Well‐Being Data," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 59(2), pages 279-306, June.
    8. Adele Bergin, 2013. "Job Changes and Wage Changes: Estimation with Measurement Error in a Binary Variable," Economics Department Working Paper Series n240-13.pdf, Department of Economics, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    9. Gaetano Lisi, 2018. "Job satisfaction, job match quality and labour supply decisions," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 65(4), pages 489-505, December.
    10. Clark, Andrew E. & D’Ambrosio, Conchita & Zhu, Rong, 2021. "Job quality and workplace gender diversity in Europe," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 420-432.
    11. Michela Ponzo, 2012. "On-the-job Search in Italian Labor Markets: An Empirical Analysis," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 213-232, July.
    12. Nina Garthe & Hans Martin Hasselhorn, 2021. "The relationship between voluntary employer change and work ability among older workers: investigating the honeymoon-hangover effect," Journal for Labour Market Research, Springer;Institute for Employment Research/ Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), vol. 55(1), pages 1-12, December.
    13. John Jerrim & Sam Sims & Rebecca Allen, 2021. "The mental health and wellbeing of teachers in England," DoQSS Working Papers 21-01r, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    14. Gaetano Lisi, 2018. "Job satisfaction, time allocation and labour supply," Working Papers 2018-04, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza.
    15. Haywood, Luke, 2016. "Wealth effects on job preferences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-11.
    16. Ponzo, Michela, 2009. "On-the-job search in italian labour markets: an empirical analysis," MPRA Paper 24200, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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