Reference wages and turnover intentions: evidence from linked employer-employee data

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This research note analyzes the nexus between workers’ turnover intentions and workers’ own wages, internal and external reference wages. Worker and establishment surveys are linked with administrative social security data for all workers in surveyed establishments. Approximately half a million worker-year observations are used to predict conditional internal and external reference wages. Results show that higher external and internal reference wages are correlated with higher turnover intentions. Thus, external reference wages seem to serve as outside options and higher reference wages of co-workers seem rather to reduce own social status than to signal better future prospects at the current employer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Number of pages5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

    Research areas

  • Income comparison, linked employer-employee data, signal, status, turnover
  • Economics