Institutional Affiliation: University of California at Santa Barbara
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2019||How Costly is Turnover? Evidence from Retail|
with Peter J. Kuhn: w26179
We estimate turnover costs in small retail sales teams using daily sales data and an advance notice requirement to address endogeneity concerns. In addition to short-staffing and onboarding costs, we identify two less familiar sources of turnover costs: incumbent workers’ recruitment activities, and reductions in team morale after a departure is announced. Our estimates of total turnover costs are relatively modest, however: Ten percent higher turnover is about as costly as a 0.6% wage increase. We attribute these low costs to a set of complementary personnel policies which ensure that only 25 percent of departures result in a short-staffing spell.