NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

A Test of Adverse Selection in the Market for Experienced Workers

Kevin Lang, Russell Weinstein

NBER Working Paper No. 22387
Issued in July 2016
NBER Program(s):LS

We show that in labor market models with adverse selection, otherwise observationally equivalent workers will experience less wage growth following a period in which they change jobs than following a period in which they do not. We find little or no evidence to support this prediction. In most specifications the coefficient has the opposite sign, sometimes statistically significantly so. When consistent with the prediction, the estimated effects are small and statistically insignificant. We consistently reject large effects in the predicted direction. We argue informally that our results are also problematic for a broader class of models of competitive labor markets.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22387

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