Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 3 No. 4 (Fall 1989)


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Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade

Article Citation

Hutchens, Robert M. 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 3(4): 49-64.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.3.4.49


Why does a worker's wage tend to grow with seniority in the firm, and what does this have to do with productivity? Two decades ago, neoclassical labor economists thought that the theory of human capital provided a good answer to this question. The last decade has, however, been one of puzzles and doubt. At this point few would give an unambiguous answer. This paper provides a tour of key points in the ongoing debate over the relationship between seniority, wages, and productivity.

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Hutchens, Robert M. (Cornell)

JEL Classifications

824: Wage and Fringe Benefit Studies
825: Productivity Studies: Labor, Capital, and Total Factor


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