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Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics inside Firms

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Bureau of Economic ResearchCornell University

In previous work, we showed that a model that integrates job assignment, human capital acquisition, and learning can explain several empirical findings concerning wage and promotion dynamics inside firms. In this article, we extend that model in two ways. First, we incorporate schooling and derive further testable implications that we then compare with the available empirical evidence. Second, and more important, we show that introducing “task‐specific” human capital allows us to produce cohort effects. We further argue that task‐specific human capital is a realistic concept and may have many important implications. We also discuss limitations of our (extended) approach.