经济代写|劳动经济学代写Labor Economics代考|ECON045

经济代写|劳动经济学代写Labor Economics代考|The Use of Credentials

Since firms often bear the costs of hiring and training workers, it is in their interest to make these costs as low as possible. Other things equal, firms should prefer to obtain a workforce of a given quality at the least possible cost. Similarly, they should prefer to hire workers who are fast learners, because such workers could be trained at less cost. Unfortunately, it may prove expensive for firms to extensively investigate the background of every individual who applies for a job to ascertain his or her skill level and ability to undertake training.

One way to reduce these costs is to rely on credentials, or signals, in the hiring process rather than intensively investigating the qualities of individual applicants. $.28$ For example, if, on average, college graduates are more productive than high school graduates, an employer might specify that a college degree is a requirement for the job. Rather than interviewing and testing all applicants to try to ascertain the productivity of each, the firm may simply select its new employees from the pool of applicants who meet this educational standard.

Such forms of statistical discrimination, judging individuals by group characteristics, have obvious costs. On the one hand, for example, some high school graduates may be fully qualified to work for a firm that insists on college graduates. Excluding them from the pool of potential applicants imposes costs on them (they do not get the job); however, it also imposes costs on the employer if other qualified applicants cannot be readily found. On the other hand, there may be some unproductive workers among the group of college graduates, and an employer who hires them may well suffer losses while they are employed. However, if the reduction in hiring costs that arises when signals (such as educational credentials, marital status, or age) are used is large, it may prove profitable for an employer to use them even if an occasional unsatisfactory worker sneaks through.

经济代写|劳动经济学代写Labor Economics代考|Internal Labor Markets

One of the difficulties in hiring employees is that such personal attributes as dependability, motivation, honesty, and flexibility are difficult to judge from interviews, employment tests, or even the recommendations of former employers. This difficulty has led many larger firms to create an internal labor market, in which workers are hired into relatively low-level jobs and higher-level jobs are filled only from within the firm. This policy gives employers a chance to observe actual productive characteristics of the employees hired, and this information is then used to determine who stays with the firm and how fast and how high employees are promoted.

The benefits of using an internal labor market to fill vacancies are that the firm knows a lot about the people working for it. Hiring decisions for upper-level jobs in either the blue-collar or the white-collar workforces will thus offer few surprises to the firm. The costs of using the internal labor market are associated with the restriction of competition for the upper-level jobs to those in the firm. Those in the firm may not be the best employees available, but they are the only ones the firm considers for these jobs. Firms most likely to decide that the benefits of using an internal labor market outweigh the costs are those whose upper-level workers must have a lot of firm-specific knowledge and training that can best be attained by on-the-job learning over the years. $\frac{29}{2}$

As noted earlier, firms that pay for training will want to ensure that they obtain employees who can learn quickly and will remain with them long enough for the training costs to be recouped through the post-training surplus. For these firms, the internal labor market offers two attractions. First, it allows the firm to observe workers on the job and thus make better decisions about which workers will be the recipients of later, perhaps very expensive, training. Second, the internal labor market tends to foster an attachment to the firm by its employees. They know that they have an inside track on upper-level vacancies because outsiders will not be considered. If they quit the firm, they would lose this privileged position. They are thus motivated to become long-term employees of the firm. The full implications of internal labor markets for wage policies within the firm will be discussed in chapter 11.

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