Human Capital Reallocation Across Firms: Evidence from Idiosyncratic Shocks
44 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2021
Date Written: August 14, 2021
We study human capital reallocation following firm-specific shocks. Theory offers diverging predictions as to whether human capital gets reallocated to its most productive use following these shocks. To empirically test these predictions, we focus on relegation battles in the English Premier League. This setting offers well identified idiosyncratic shocks as well as both individual-level and firm-level productivity metrics. We find that human capital exits firms after a negative idiosyncratic shock. Specifically, we find that more productive players move to more productive clubs and maintain their long-term productivity. They get replaced with lower productivity players. Overall, our results show that in a setting with highly transferable skills, idiosyncratic shocks lead to a reallocation of human capital that moves the industry towards a better overall match between individual-level and firm-level productivity.
Keywords: Idiosyncratic shock, human capital, reallocation, productivity, English Premier League, relegation
JEL Classification: G30, J2
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