Managing careers in organizations

Rongzhu Ke, Jin Li, Michael Powell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Firms’ organizational structures impose constraints on their ability to usepromotion-basedincentives.Wedevelopa frameworkfor identifying these constraints and exploring their consequences.We show that firms manage workers’ careers by choosing personnel policies that resemble an internal labor market. Firms may adopt forced turnover policies to keep lines of advancement open, and they may alter their organizational structures to relax these constraints. This gives rise to a trade-off between incentive provision at the worker level and productive efficiency at the firm level. Our framework generates novel testable implications that connect firm-level characteristics with workers’ careers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-252
Number of pages56
JournalJournal of Labor Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Economics and Econometrics

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