The productivity effects of worker mobility between heterogeneous firms
We analyze the effect of worker inflows on establishments’ productivity, using German data. Previous studies for other countries have found positive effects of hiring workers from superi-or (more productive or higher-paying) firms. Ranking establishments by their median wage, we find that inflows from inferior establishments seem to increase hiring establishments’ productivity. Further empirical analyses suggest our findings are due to a positive selection of such inflows from their sending establishments. These workers might have to find a better job match in order to advance their careers, an interpretation supported by the finding that the effect is driven by workers with short tenure at their previous employer. Our findings reflect the increasingly assortative pattern of worker mobility in Germany found in a related strand of literature.