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Economic Integration And Human Capital Investment

  • Ireland, Norman
  • Merzoni, Guido

In this paper we seek to characterize a market for heterogeneous managers created by heterogeneous firms and the decisions on investment in both sector-specific and firm-specific human capital when those decisions are made prior to the realization of firms' profitability and the degree of markets’ integration may vary. We consider the (Nash) equilibrium and relate this to a first-best allocation. The rent-seeking motives of managers and firms will generally make sector- and firm-specific investment decisions not socially optimum, both with respect to the number of investors and the level of each investment. The effect on welfare of markets’ integration varies with the nature of the skills considered. With more general, sector-specific, skills more integration, by increasing the matching ability of the market, reduces the distortion caused by rent seeking, and increases social welfare. However, with more specific skills the increased matching ability of a more integrated market, by making managers more mobile, destroys some firm-specific human capital and so reduces welfare.

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File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp534.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 534.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:534
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Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Rochford, Sharon C., 1984. "Symmetrically pairwise-bargained allocations in an assignment market," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 262-281, December.
  3. Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Performance Pay And Top Management Incentives," Papers 88-04, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  4. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Firm-specific Capital and Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1246-60, December.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
  6. Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Bennett, Elaine, 1988. "Consistent bargaining conjectures in marriage and matching," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 392-407, August.
  8. 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 838-68, August.
  9. Crawford, Vincent P & Knoer, Elsie Marie, 1981. "Job Matching with Heterogeneous Firms and Workers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(2), pages 437-50, March.
  10. McLaughlin, Kenneth J, 1994. "Rent Sharing in an Equilibrium Model of Matching and Turnover," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(4), pages 499-523, October.
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