We examine job durations of German workers using linked employer–employee data. Our results indicate that exit rates are strongly influenced by firm characteristics. The effects of some of these characteristics, however, are limited to particular job positions or skill groups. Changes in coefficients across specifications provide clear evidence for a sorting process whereby workers with long expected job durations are matched to firms offering stable employment (and vice versa). An extension of the model to a competing-risks framework shows that both individual and firm-level characteristics differ greatly in their impact on job exit to different destination states. Among the substantive results, it would appear that works councils decrease exit both to unemployment and to new jobs, but do so only for blue collar workers.
Boockmann, Bernhard and Susanne Steffes (2010), Workers, Firms or Institutions: What Determines Job Duration for Male Employees in Germany?, Industrial and Labor Relations Review 64 (1), 109-127.