Simon Burgess, Julia Lane and David Stevens

Hiring Risky Workers: Some Evidence

Lazear recently suggested that firms that do not expect to live for a long time will hire only safe workers. Hence their worker turnover will be lower. In this paper we test this hypothesis using both the industry growth rate and industry-average age of establishments as measures of the horizon for a particular firm. We find mixed results, both at the industry level and at the establishment level. Establishments in growing industries do indeed exhibit higher churning flows, but a high average age of establishments reduces rather than increases churning.