NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Charles R. Pierret

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

November 1997Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination
with Joseph G. Altonji: w6279
We provide a test for statistical discrimination or rational stereotyping in in environments in which agents learn over time. Our application is to the labor market. If profit maximizing firms have limited information about the general productivity of new workers, they may choose to use easily observable characteristics such as years of education to 'statistically discriminate' among workers. As firms acquire more information about a worker, pay will become more dependent on actual productivity and less dependent on easily observable characteristics or credentials that predict productivity. Consider a wage equation that contains both the interaction between experience and a hard to observe variable that is positively related to productivity and the interaction between experience and a ...

Published: Altonji, Joseph G. and Charles R. Pierret. "Employer Learning And Statistical Discrimination," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001, v116(1,Feb), 313-350. citation courtesy of

January 1996Employer Learning and the Signaling Value of Education
with Joseph G. Altonji: w5438
If profit maximizing firms have limited information about the general productivity of new workers, they may choose to use easily observable characteristics such as years of education to 'statistically discriminate' among workers. The pure credential value of education will depend on how quickly firms learn. To obtain information on employer learning, we work with a wage equation that contains both the interaction between experience and a hard-to-observe variable that is positively related to productivity and the interaction between experience and a variable that firms can easily observe, such as years of education. The time path of the coefficient on the unobservable productivity variable provides information about the rate at which employers learn about worker productivity. Using data...

Published: Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, 2001. "Employer Learning And Statistical Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(1), pages 313-350, February.

 
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