NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Stepping Stone Mobility

Boyan Jovanovic, Yaw Nyarko

NBER Working Paper No. 5651
Issued in July 1996
NBER Program(s):   PR

People at the top of an occupational ladder earn more partly because they have spent time on lower rungs, where they have learned something. But what precisely do they learn? There are two contrasting views: First, the Bandit model assumes that people are different, that experience reveals their characteristics, and that consequently an occupational switch can result. Second, in our Stepping Stone model, experience raises a worker's productivity on a given task and the acquired skill can in part be transferred to other occupations, and this prompts movement. Safe activities (where mistakes destroy less output) are a natural training ground.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w5651

Published: Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Volume 46, June 1997, pp. 289-325 citation courtesy of

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