Publication Date



A number of branches of the literature on internal labor markets have matured to the point that there is now a healthy two-way interaction between theory and empirical work. In this survey I consider two of these branches: i) wage and promotion dynamics; and ii) human-resource practices. For each case I describe the empirical and theoretical literatures and also discuss what we can learn by paying careful attention to how theoretical and empirical findings are related. In addition to surveying the literatures on these two topics, my goal is to show how a deeper understanding of internal-labor-market phenomena can be derived from a close partnering of empirical and theoretical research.


Suggested Citation
Waldman, M. (2009). Theory and evidence in internal labor markets (CRI 2009-013). Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School, Compensation Research Initiative site:

Prepared for the forthcoming Handbook of Organizational Economics.