تطبیق و رقابت برای سرمایه انسانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|18358||2000||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7200 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Labour Economics, Volume 7, Issue 2, March 2000, Pages 135–152
A simple model of discretionary worker investment in human capital is developed in which worker productivity is affected by a firm-specific match and employers bid strategically for workers. The labor market returns a share of specific capital productivity to workers without Nash bargaining power and without recourse to long-term contracts, because efficient turnover transforms a worker's former employers into her outside options. When the cost of specific investment falls, wage profiles become less steep and turnover is reduced. Perversely, an increase in the probability of turnover increases the (privately) optimal investment in specific capital.
Human capital theory emphasizes the distinction between specific skills, productive at only one firm, and general skills, productive at many firms, because of the different incentives for accumulation of the two types of skill. Since more than one firm will bid for a worker with general skills, “the cost as well as the return from general training would be borne by trainees, not by firms” (Becker, 1962, p.13). In contrast, the return from specific investment is a quasi-rent, available only when the trainee works for the specific firm, so alternative employers cannot be relied upon to bid up wages. As the cost of investment must be borne before the returns are available, the investment decision depends on the expected resolution of a bilateral monopoly. In the absence of credible promises of future compensation, workers exposed to the potential of being `held-up' by their employers are unwilling to invest in specific capital. Nevertheless, the best evidence suggests that wages do rise with job tenure as well as experience, and that the source of the wage gain is training (Brown, 1989; Topel, 1991). However, training alone does not explain all of the wage growth among workers. Topel and Ward (1992), e.g., find that job changes also account for a substantial fraction of wage growth, and conclude that the labor market systematically sorts workers into firms at which they have better matches. If the labor market sorts workers into better matches, then a worker's present employer may in the future become her best alternative. Even if employers can extract all of the relationship-specific surplus, the ability of workers to change firms means that specific capital may be transformed from surplus at one firm into the worker's rival opportunity at the other, and hence, into wages. This paper develops a simple two-period model of human capital accumulation in the presence of worker–firm matching to explore the potential of efficient turnover for providing workers a share in the return from their specific investments. To focus attention on the role of the spot labor market in inducing specific investments by workers, long-term contracts are assumed to be unavailable. 1 The principal finding is that matching and training explanations of wage growth reinforce each other: when matching is important, workers are sorted across firms and so have an incentive to invest in specific as well as general human capital. 2 There remain important differences between the effect of general and specific human capital investment in the model. Since workers capture all of the returns from general capital, the socially efficient levels of these skills are accumulated. Not so with specific capital: workers ignore the benefit these skills confer on their employer, so they underinvest relative to the social optimum. Less obvious is the fact that workers also invest in specific skills insufficiently to maximize their own lifetime incomes. This occurs because a worker enters the labor market twice, once before and once after her investment in human capital. The anticipated investment in specific skills increases the expected profit of her employer, and so intensifies wage competition for young, uncommitted workers. Thus, part of the benefit to specific capital is incorporated in the first period wage. At the time the specific investment is actually made, this wage is fixed, and unable to commit ex ante, the worker ignores this effect and underinvests in specific capital. More surprising is that if a worker were able to commit to the wage-maximizing specific investment, she would overinvest in these skills, relative to the socially optimum. I examine the comparative static effects of changes in the cost of investment. In the limit as specific capital becomes very inexpensive, turnover vanishes and the wage of workers who leave their first-period employer exceeds that of those who stay. However, the relationship between the cost of investment and the relative wages of movers and stayers is not monotonic. Increases in specific capital can be correlated with either a rise or fall in the returns to tenure at the firm. The assumption that differentiates this work from the extensive literature on matching and specific human capital investment is not that outside options exist, or even that the outside option may exceed the value of continuing the relationship in which a specific investment has been made. It is that the bidding for the worker's services by the outside option is responsive to the valuation of the worker in her initial match. For example, Mortensen (1988) and Jovanovic (1979b) assume that workers are paid their marginal product, while MacLeod and Malcomson (1993) allow a worker's current employer to renegotiate her wage based on the value of her outside option, but assume that the outside firm makes just one take-it-or-leave-it offer, independent of the worker's current match value. The bidding structure in the model is a generalization of the `offer matching' model of Mortensen (1978) in which workers search for outside offers and the present employer is able to make a counter-offer to retain the worker. This is extended in the present paper to allow the competitor a similar chance to make multiple offers. In Mortensen's model, specific capital refers to the match value itself, and discretionary investment is not considered. Hashimoto (1981) and Hall and Lazear (1984) point out that if the transaction costs associated with verifying outside offers are high, offer matching procedure is less efficient, perhaps even than a fixed wage. Like Mortensen, I assume that wage bargains are implementable at a negligible cost. But as long as transaction costs are not so high as to make wages totally unresponsive to competition, the results of the model hold qualitatively. Several of the paper's findings are related to other work in the literature. In a model of non-discretionary human capital accumulation (learning-by-doing), Bernhardt and Timmis (1990) also found that specific capital accumulation can cause intertemporal wage profiles to become flatter. Because human capital cannot serve as loan collateral, firms are able to act as financial intermediaries, providing smoothed consumption to workers. Felli and Harris (1994) propose a model in which worker–firm matches are experience goods (i.e., the value of a particular relationship is revealed slowly over time) that also allows for the possibility of their present employer being their future outside option. Interpreting the information on match value as specific capital, Felli and Harris find that wages may rise with tenure in a firm if the information gained is valuable in both the worker's present and alternative matches. In contrast, I assume that specific capital is only of value in the relationship in which the worker is engaged during its accumulation. Section 2develops the basic model of worker investment. Section 3contains several extensions. Section 4concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper constructs a model in which firms hold all of the bilateral bargaining power, yet worker–firm matching ensures that workers receive a share of productivity increases resulting from relationship-specific investment. Part of the wage increase comes in the initial wage, not as a result of firms financing specific investment to ensure that workers undertake it, but rather from firms competing to attract workers whom they know will yield higher profits when trained. The size of the wage increase is related to the potential investment in specific skills at firms other than that which wins the worker. In an industry for which opportunities across firms for human capital investment are very similar, this would look like an upfront payment for specific investment. Workers undertake specific investments, looking forward to future competition between their current employer and outside firms. In some cases, workers with poorer current matches may even invest more in specific capital. The fact that wage tenure profiles depend on both realized and potential investments in human capital complicates the testing of human capital models in the presents of matching. This might explain the results in Levine (1993), where doubt is expressed about the usefulness of human capital theory based on the finding that workers, who (according to their own assessment) perform jobs which require extensive training, face wage profiles which are no steeper, and have turnover rates that are no lower than those who work in low training jobs. It is straightforward to alter the model so that workers invest more in specific than general human capital. The easiest way is to redefine the functions H or C. Alternatively, Bernhardt and Scoones (1993) develop a model of promotion in which specific capital yields an additional benefit to workers. There firms are asymmetrically informed about the general capital of workers. When workers accumulate specific capital, employers are less reluctant to reveal their general skills by promoting them. If this promotion effect is strong enough, it may outweigh the higher direct wage incentive of general capital. Many questions cannot be addressed in this simple two-period model. It would be interesting to know if a multiperiod model could explain the wage and career dynamics reported in Topel and Ward (1992), e.g., how do career mobility and investment in human capital evolve? If employers bidding for experienced workers knew that these workers might leave again, how would their offers be affected? These questions are the subject of future research.