Experience, Performance, and Earnings

34 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2004 Last revised: 7 Oct 2021

See all articles by James L. Medoff

James L. Medoff

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Katharine G. Abraham

University of Maryland - Joint Program in Survey Methodology and Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1980

Abstract

This study provides direct evidence concerning the relationship between experience and performance among managerial and professional employees doing similar work in two major U. S. corporations. The facts presented indicate that while, within grade levels, there is a strong positive association between experience and relative earnings, there is either no association or a negative association between experience and relative rated performance. If we are correct that the performance ratings given to managerial and professional employees in any grade level adequately reflect those employees' relative productivity in the year of assessment, the results imply that the human capital on-the-job training model cannot explain a substantial part of the ob-served return to labor market experience.

Suggested Citation

Medoff, James L. and Abraham, Katharine G., Experience, Performance, and Earnings (December 1980). NBER Working Paper No. w0278, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=260470

James L. Medoff (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Katharine G. Abraham

University of Maryland - Joint Program in Survey Methodology and Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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