Birds, Birds, Birds: Co-Worker Similarity, Workplace Diversity, and Voluntary Turnover

37 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Boris Hirsch

Boris Hirsch

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Elke J. Jahn

Institute for Employment Research (IAB); University of Bayreuth; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Thomas Zwick

University of Würzburg - Business Administration & Economics; Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW); Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)

Abstract

We investigate how the demographic composition of the workforce along the sex, nationality, education, age, and tenure dimension affects voluntary turnover. Fitting duration models for workers' job-to-job moves that control for workplace fixed effects in a representative sample of large manufacturing plants in Germany during 1975–2016, we find that larger co-worker similarity in all five dimensions substantially depresses voluntary turnover whereas workplace diversity is of limited importance. In line with conventional wisdom, which has that birds of one feather flock together, our results suggest that workers prefer having co-workers of their kind and place less value on diverse workplaces.

Keywords: workforce demography, co-worker similarity, workplace diversity, voluntary turnover

JEL Classification: J63, J62, J21, J19

Suggested Citation

Hirsch, Boris and Jahn, Elke J. and Zwick, Thomas, Birds, Birds, Birds: Co-Worker Similarity, Workplace Diversity, and Voluntary Turnover. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12333. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390323

Boris Hirsch (Contact Author)

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg ( email )

Schloßplatz 4
Erlangen, Bavaria 91054
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.arbeitsmarkt.wiso.uni-erlangen.de/english/hirsch_e.htm

Elke J. Jahn

Institute for Employment Research (IAB) ( email )

Regensburger Str. 104
Nuremberg, 90478
Germany

University of Bayreuth ( email )

Bayreuth, 95447
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Thomas Zwick

University of Würzburg - Business Administration & Economics ( email )

Sanderring 2
Wuerzburg, D-97070
Germany

Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) ( email )

P.O. Box 10 34 43
L 7,1 D-68161 Mannheim
Germany

Maastricht University - Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, MD6200
Netherlands

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