Educational Credentials, Hiring, and Intra-Occupational Inequality: Evidence from Law Firm Dissolutions.
Christopher I. Rider
Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business
December 13, 2013
Motivated by the relationship between educational prestige and intra-occupational inequality, this study examines how educational credentials influence organizational hiring. Treating six U.S. law firm dissolutions as mobility quasi-experiments, I analyze 1,426 lawyers’ post-dissolution labor market outcomes and establish two key findings. First, more rewarding employers (i.e., high prestige and high profitability) hired lawyers who graduated from more prestigious law schools but this tendency weakened with one’s work experience. Second, lawyers were typically hired by organizations that employed more former classmates but the most rewarding employers were least likely to do so. These results imply that educational credentials influence inequality not only by distributing individuals across employers based on ability signals but, also, by reproducing the distribution through networks.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 50
Keywords: networks, attainment, law firms, careers, mobility
JEL Classification: J44, J63, L84, M51working papers series
Date posted: July 8, 2011 ; Last revised: December 14, 2013
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