When are signaling and human capital theories of education observationally equivalent?

by on July 5, 2011 at 7:07 am in Economics, Education | Permalink

Going as far back as Andrew Weiss’s survey paper, there are various attempts to argue that the two theories make the same predictions about earnings and education.  A randomly elevated individual will earn more money but is this from having learned more or from being pooled with a more productive set of peers?

To explore this, let’s pursue the very good question asked by Bryan Caplan:

Our story begins with a 22-year-old high school graduate with a B average.  He knows an unscrupulous nerd who can hack into Harvard’s central computer and give him a fake diploma, complete with transcript.  In the U.S. labor market, what is the present discounted value of that fake diploma?

If he can fake a good interview (a big if, but let’s say), and if certification from recommenders is not important in the chosen sector (another big if), he may get a Harvard-quality job for his first placement.  If you believe in the signaling theory, however, his marginal product is fairly low, much lower than the wage he will be paid.  They will fire him.  He’ll come out a bit ahead, if he is not too demoralized, but within a few years he will be paid his marginal product.

In most jobs they figure out your productivity within two or three months after training, if not sooner.

In a one-shot static setting, signaling and human capital theories might have the same empirical implications because the learning and pooling effects can produce similar links between education and wages (again assuming someone can fake an interview).  But not over time and of course the wage dispersion for an educational cohort does very much increase with time.  The workers don’t keep on receiving their “average marginal product” for very long.

Do not be tricked by those who serve up one-period examples to establish the empirical equivalence of signaling and human capital theories!

To tie this back to the academic literature, if IV-elevated workers enjoy an enduring wage effect comparable to that of the other degreed workers, you should conclude they learned something comparable at school unless you wish to spin an elaborate and enduring W > MP story.

Addendum: There is a less drastic scenario than the one outlined by Bryan.  Let’s say there are fourteen classes of workers and a class nine worker is randomly elevated to class seven credentials.  He might use that momentary good fortune to learn from smarter peers, work hard to establish a foothold, and so on.  His lifetime earnings might end up as roughly those of other class seven workers, despite being of initial type nine.  The higher earnings are still based on learning effects (not mainly pooling), though pooling gave that worker temporary access to some new learning and advancement opportunities.  In most regards this works like the learning model, not the pooling model, although the period of learning extends beyond schooling narrowly construed.

And Arnold Kling comments.

TheophileEscargot July 5, 2011 at 7:57 am

“They will fire him… In most jobs they figure out your productivity within two or three months after training, if not sooner.”

Love to see some evidence of that.


Tyler Cowen July 5, 2011 at 8:10 am

Read the story closely, it seems he was pretty productive in his lectures and teaching and he knew he wasn’t able to treat any patients, and he didn’t.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

I think one of the reasons for the system we have is that firms know they aren’t good at determining the productivity of an individual. All the smoke and mirrors around evaluations and yearly reviews is designed to make us think they are good at it.

JA July 5, 2011 at 8:29 am

“If you believe in the signaling theory, however, his marginal product is fairly low, much lower than the wage he will be paid.” Why is this the case. I know plenty of B high school students who were plenty smart. They just didn’t have the Harvard legacy parent to get them in to an overpriced institution.

Jim July 5, 2011 at 10:06 am

Anecdotal. Also your friends/acquaintances may have attended a different college, while this example deals with a student who stopped the education process at HS.

Also, TC put this forth as a conditional, not an absolute: “If you believe…” Should your anecdotal evidence in the form of personal experience represent general reality on this subject, i.e., B-level HS students have MP not drastically different from their Ivy College counterparts, then you have simple demonstrated the invalidity of signalling theory in such examples, (iff p -> q. ¬q -> ¬p) not necessarily the overall situation.

Bill July 5, 2011 at 8:44 am

As opposed to Bryan Caplan’s hypothetical, how about this more realistic one:

Dad graduated from Harvard and is the owner of a hedge fund (having inherited money from his dad); family has a history of contributing to the Harvard endowment; son is admitted to Harvard after being waitlisted for a year and not being accepted at his premier state school (Top 10); son graduates from Harvard with A’s because most do.

Son goes into dad’s hedge fund and makes a ton of money managing his own money and the money of his friends in the Hampton’s who he parties with every summer.

Some economist does a study and finds that going to Harvard “leads to” higher income.

Cliff July 5, 2011 at 9:33 am

That doesn’t sound very realistic.

Bill July 5, 2011 at 10:26 am

Well, we may disagree on this, Cliff, but 1) I have hired persons from Harvard and 2) my son in law went to Yale, and observed how his classmates landed jobs in investment banking as undergraduates 3) my son is an investment banker and has a similar view, and 4) one of my law partners went to Harvard and had his mediocre son waitlisted and admitted as an undergraduate at Harvard and later tried to have our firm hire him when he graduated in the middle of his class at an average law school.

I will be the first to admit this is totally a limited sample, but I think my hypothetical is closer to reality.

I’d be interested in any studies of Harvard/Yale graduate’s income controlled for parental income and wealth. I think what we measure in education sometimes, as to certain professions, is simply hereditary transfer of wealth and income to kids with the “academic” stamp of approval being treated as the cause of future wealth, and not the effect of past wealth.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 10:31 am

I think you are dealing with a field and industry that is highly oriented toward signaling.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 10:35 am

WRT bond trading, I wonder if, ironically, a job that can accept anyone as long as they are productive has to rely even more heavily on signaling to get in the door. They can replace you at any time, but who do they replace you with? They can’t cull the field with performance because they don’t know that yet, and if the hiring manager doesn’t stick to some policy then he takes risk. And if he does stick to policy, what is the policy going to be?

dave July 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

In regards to the Addendum, isn’t nearly all job training done on the job. When I worked on the street and these rich legacy kids came in with degrees in English it sure didn’t make them good at pricing bonds or trading stocks.

You can take anyone with a moderately above average IQ and some decent charisma and make them an investment banking VP. Most don’t get the opportunity though, and there are understandable but not all too legitimate reasons why that is.

Jonathan July 5, 2011 at 9:00 am

When I went to my first job interview for a job as an economic consultant, I was asked about my salary expectations. I answered, quickly and (I thought) smoothly, “Well, it doesn’t much matter, because my compensation should reasonably quickly adjust to my marginal revenue product, whatever that turns out to be.” My interviewer then responded: “That’s a very good answer for an academic economist, but if you think your butt is leaving that chair without giving me a number, you don’t yet understand what a consulting economist does.”

Manoel Galdino July 5, 2011 at 2:07 pm

Nice! And my point is related to this:In general there is no such a thing as “his marginal product”.
In fact, this is a point made long time agor by John Bates Clark in his famous Book.
When you add a worker, the marginal product of that work (with the same abilites of her co-workers) should be lower (with given technology and capital and demand), by simple math (assuming a standard produtcion function), which is, the first derivative is positive, but the second derivative is negative.

But even if you don’t agree with me on the above, you have to consider this:
the productivity of a worker is related to the productivity of her peers. Assuming you’re a programmer and you have to… write a program with another programmer. If your co-worker is a good programmer, she may boost your productivity, just because she is good. He may boost your productivity because of her teaching you some valuable lessons, or because working with her makes you more productive, but you didn’t learn anythig new. In general, we can’t identify what is what.

This is more clear in sports. Do you really think that it’s easy to determine the productivity of Lebron James apart of the team where he plays? Of think about soccer (I’m Brazilian, so I know much more of Soccer).Leonel Messi is the best player in the World. He plays wery well in Barcelona, but not so much at Argentina. Why is that? He is not as good as we think? His is godd, but his peers aren’t that good in Argentina and that’s the reason he can’t suceed with Argentina? Maybe he is good in a club, bot not in a national team? Or maybe he can succeed only in Barcelona way of play? Who knows? No one. In fact, it’s impossible do disentangle the effect of each factor. The onyl thing we know is that is is the best player when playing by Barcelona.

So, things like this can happen with common workers. And I don’ see how observational studies can identify each effect. It has to be a very clever identification strategy.

Eric Rasmusen July 5, 2011 at 9:03 am

Signalling theory says he’ll be fired too, so the example is not a good one. Signalling theory doesn’t say you never find out someone’s productivity. It just says that till you do, as an employer you rely on signals.

Signalling answers the question of why people would get a college education if it doesn’t teach you anything (crucial, and false, premise).

Suppose you are correct and employers can find out your productivity after six months on the job. The problem for the signalling theory of college is then why teenagers don’t offer to work for free for six months rather than go to college for four years to show their talent.

Actually, I can think of one answer already. The college degree is publicly observable, but your job performance is not. If you are good, your employer is not going to advertise that, and you will have a hard time getting another job or being paid what you’re worth in your present job.

Not that I believe in the BA as mere signal. Americans are coddled in high school, and a lot of what they know—especially about hard work— comes in college.

dave July 5, 2011 at 9:31 am

“why teenagers don’t offer to work for free for six months”

Because the company views totally raw undifferentiated employees as liabilities. The biggest cost isn’t the salary, the biggest cost is experienced people training them and having to fix their fuck ups.

“and a lot of what they know—especially about hard work— comes in college.”

Absolute lols. College is about drinking too much and pretending to be an adult. I got decent grades at a good school taking math courses and I never even came close to working as hard as I have at any real world job.

Cliff July 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

Plus, working for free is illegal. Thanks, gov’t!

Greg July 5, 2011 at 9:36 am

This seems right to me. While I have not read the Spence paper for about 20 years now, my recollection is that the value of the signal was that it was a true signal: that having gone to college signals the worker is of high ability (and employers cannot discern ability at the hiring stage). So, the value of a fake Harvard diploma to a low ability worker is not much, since he will be found out. The value of a fake Harvard diploma to a high ability worker would be high, since it opens the door to an opportunity to prove himself high ability.

As pointed out above, however, this story relies on the employer being able to observe ability/productivity eventually. And if this is true, then there would seem to be other ways for potential employees to demonstrate ability.

TGGP July 5, 2011 at 9:48 am

I was in an argument that touched on Spence’s paper a while back, and my recollection is that the education provided no learning, but it was less costly for those who truly had ability. That is what made it a true signal.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

I worked at a place that looked favorably on advanced degrees. My co-worker friend who is still there didn’t have one. He would ask how to get around that limitation. There was no way other than to stop working(!) for a time to get the degree (or slow down while you get the degree on the job) . My theory is that employers know that managers and co-workers over-value degrees and it’s simply easier to go along with the zeitgeist than attempt to re-educate people into meritocratic/productivity-based. That is in fact why I am pursuing an advanced degree. I believe people irrationally over-value degrees.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 10:29 am

“less costly for those who truly had ability”

But unless you are a true prodigy, most don’t get to test out. So, in terms of time-served, it’s not less costly for the middle 6 sigma or so. I guess you get to play more chess along the way.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 9:22 am

Going out on a limb here, but I think I could fake an interview if I had 4 years to practice.

Lance July 5, 2011 at 9:46 am

Dynamic inconsistency says you wouldn’t practice until shortly before the interview.

heyref July 5, 2011 at 10:47 am

That’s what college is for, isn’t it? Learning to fake the interview?

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

This is similar to some experiments I’ve proposed. Their should be a UL that sends fakes to interviews and jobs to see if anyone can tell a difference.

John Thacker July 5, 2011 at 9:26 am

If you believe in the signaling theory, however, his marginal product is fairly low, much lower than the wage he will be paid. They will fire him.

Not necessarily. The signaling theory just says that what you get in school isn’t really learning. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t increase your earnings, and it doesn’t mean that the signaling doesn’t signal real talent or capabilities, just that it’s an elaborate way of employers figuring out your talents that may be unrelated to what you actually learn in school. Private sector employers don’t really care what a PhD actually did in her thesis in general, and may not even care about the specific skills learned in doing the thesis, but they do care that the person signaled and demonstrated that she was capable of learning and doing something very difficult that took focus and a drive to succeed.

That also doesn’t mean that signalling is totally inefficient– it may be hard for an employer to figure out your talents without schools doing so (harder perhaps since IQ tests and the like are banned under Griggs v. Duke Power), so there’s an economic point to it. However, it also means that perhaps there’s room for a better system.

It’s certainly easy to believe that most all smart people go to college, and college helps employers identify smart people, while still believing that what schools teach now is (no longer) as relevant for people learning the right skills. Saying that such a thing is impossible is like arguing that too high house prices couldn’t possibly happen. (Though I agree the burden of proof is very high.)

unless you wish to spin an elaborate and enduring W > MP story

Fairly easy to make such a story for people in some union jobs, especially government jobs. They may never get promoted once it’s clear that W > MP, but being fired is another story altogether (and they’ll still get step raises and cost of living). And while the wage dispersion with other people who got the credential may increase due to the lack of promotion, the person with the extra degree may still be permanently better off than someone with the same lack of talent who didn’t get the education. The education would still show a positive return.

Even in the private sector, in many sectors (but not all) it can take a while to fire someone. Firing people, even people who deserve it, hurts the morale of the remaining employees, plus in some companies departments like to keep around low performers so that they have someone to fire when upper management demands that every department cut costs by X%.

John Thacker July 5, 2011 at 9:32 am

I’ve seen too many cases in real life where employers and would be employers cared more about pieces of paper than they cared about demonstrated track records of success in a job to say that signaling and credentialing isn’t something. People with twenty years success in a job who lost it (but not fired for poor performance) who couldn’t get their same job back because now, unlike when they were first hired, a BSN or a MBA or whatever is considered necessary.

Perhaps all the piece of paper is is about getting your foot in the door, but I still believe that that can be important. Wages and jobs are stickier than a simple “if W > MP is true, they’ll be fired” story implies.

dave July 5, 2011 at 9:39 am

Even private sector testing can be bad. When I left the street I became an actuary. You have to take a bunch of math tests that prove you can do a few calculations by hand even though people have been doing much more complicated stuff on computers for decades. But the old timers don’t want to let in a lot of new blood and drive down their wages, so they keep their barrier to entry. I pushed myself through the useless exercise, but I don’t see how wasting 2,000 hours of my life improved my marginal product in the slightest, and I’m doing a “hard” subject like math.

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 10:30 am

Again, productivity is most strongly related to what tools you get to use in what industry.

Floccina July 5, 2011 at 11:10 am

Also having to fire someone shows that a mistake was made in hiring them, so bosses are understandably reluctant to fire people.

Howard July 5, 2011 at 9:48 am

Is there robust evidence that labor markets operate efficiently enough to reduce the importance of the initial signal over time? My anecodatel experience is that they do not, specifically because (a) each job is a subsequent signal to the next and (b) people don’t get fired unless they are grossly incompetent.

The one piece of empirical evidence I have heard to support this view (I have no citation) is that the best predictor of Harvard Business School graduates lifetime income is the year in which they graduate. The potential interpretation of this result is that it is caused by the continous signaling effect of each successive job. (e.g., the resume-ocracy effect)

Andrew' July 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

Talent evaluation is very costly. That’s why we create systems where the tests are standardized. All tests are standardized by the way, the name “standardized test” is used in the vernacular to mean “we need rediculously large numbers!”

It still takes the student many years and requires very large numbers of people doing identical tasks and it still gets it wrong sometimes. So, the assumption that the guy would get found out in any job I’ve ever had is very dubious to me.

Tyler Cowen July 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

Many of your examples are ignoring the “large numbers” aspect of the data. The more talented people, in the aggregate, will be paid much more.

Norman July 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

While this is true, it’s a long, long way from “W = MP” regardless of other market effects. This claim requires that firms perfectly measure MP, and it is only approximately true if firms can form unbiased estimates of MP quickly. If MP were so easily observed, though, then internal promotions within firms would not impose credential requirements; this is not common. The fact is we keep our education attainment on our resumes even after thirty years, when your argument suggests up-to-date information about MP should be fully contained in recent employment evaluations.

As long as wages are a non-decreasing function of marginal product, the large numbers effect would still hold. This is entirely compatible with education serving a purely signaling function.

Dan Carroll July 5, 2011 at 10:08 am

“If he can fake a good interview (a big if, but let’s say), and if certification from recommenders is not important in the chosen sector (another big if), he may get a Harvard-quality job for his first placement. If you believe in the signaling theory, however, his marginal product is fairly low, much lower than the wage he will be paid. They will fire him. He’ll come out a bit ahead, if he is not too demoralized, but within a few years he will be paid his marginal product.”

This is an argument in favor of signaling. What this quote says is that you can’t fake a signal like a Harvard diploma. Let’s reverse that, and use the story of a very smart kid who self-educates, while going to podunk CC, and see if she can signal her intelligence in other ways to get a job at Goldman Sachs. (The right answer is no.)

For someone with good social skills, faking an interview is not difficult, except in technical areas.

The assumption Tyler is also making is that one always gets paid one’s marginal product. There are many reasons why this is not usually the case. While it’s is true that in the aggregate wages are a function of productivity, at individual levels there are wide variances. Wages can be a function of signaling and luck, especially for very high payouts, and they are a function of leverage and control over productive resources (which enhance one’s productivity and devalue another’s). While job hopping diminishes that somewhat, switching costs for workers can be very high (again, that varies by industry).

TallDave July 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

It really depends almost entirely on the nature of the degree.

If it’s a Master’s in electrical engineering from MIT, the marginal value is zero. He gets laughed out of every interview.

If it’s a PhD in Gender Studies from Harvard, he has a long and fruitful career.

doctorpat July 12, 2011 at 12:11 am

I’ve known a few people who were on the other side of that interview. ie. They interviewed a candidate who (for example) claimed a degree from Princeton.

Yes, we were laughing afterwards as we heard the stories about how they answered the questions.

Lazy Federal Employee Posting from Work July 5, 2011 at 10:14 am

It seems important to ask WHY we think he will underperform: is it because of an immutable characteristic like intelligence, or because you guys actually believe that Harvard teaching makes a difference in productivity?

Jim July 5, 2011 at 10:26 am

In the aggregate, Ivy-level teaching is likely to have an impact on WP as compared to an absence of all college-level instruction. Ivy-level vs. non Ivy-Level instruction is another matter. I have not encountered any study (would be interested in recommendations from anyone who has) that accounts for instruction/course quality alone in Ivy vs. non-Ivy settings, adequately controlling for other influential variables such as socio-economic background, level of learning/aptitude/IQ/ etc pre-college, and so on.

MarcTheEngineer July 5, 2011 at 10:25 am

You’re being far to optimistic about the ability of the employer to determine the employees productivity.

Not only that, but if the employee is LIKEABLE his/her productivity is likely to be mostly irrelevant anyways. Even the paper degree from Harvard is really not all that important because the cheater has not acquired the network from Harvard with the degree and it is the network you acquire going to Harvard that is really valuable (the degree is secondary)

Jim July 5, 2011 at 10:41 am

While I agree in general that productivity is difficult to ascertain and often irrelevant to other considerations when determining who gets fired, there are many jobs where productivity is narrowly enough defined in a “bottom line” number, with that bottom-line number of paramount importance when determining attrition. There are enough such jobs that studies focusing on them exclusively might paint an accurate picture generalizable to market segments without such discreet indictors when determing W and MP relationships on this issue.

dave July 5, 2011 at 11:54 am

Sure, but easily measurable jobs (like sales) are dwarfed by hard to measure jobs in the modern economy.

An Onyx Mousse July 5, 2011 at 10:28 am

I think John Thacker is on to something – signaling doesn’t have to be the whole story to be significant as a factor (and it doesn’t necessarily imply very small amounts of learning in school). Obviously, there are some specific opportunities for those at top-tier institutions that are just not offered to those at lower ones, no matter how talented the individuals.

Large investment banks and law firms have essentially admitted that what they really want in their undergrad hires is a relentless will to compete and lots of ambition to get rich, as these personality traits benefit their firms. There are loads of academically talented students capable of doing the work at the top 50 U.S. universities, but what separates those at the top (more or less) is how competitive their personalities are and that they have upper-class social skills already (due to being trained at Harvard etc.) Competitive schools filter for students who want to be the best and are willing to work to get there (and usually got lucky in some sense).

The value of signaling also extends well beyond the initial hire into the market. Firms want to signal to their clients that they hired from the “best” schools, and so they can charge higher fees to clients who value those signals. Also, top talent won’t want to work under mediocre managers, so the signaling extends to other potential future hires. At the relevant margin (approximately equal academic ability) signaling indicates competitiveness and “top tier” social qualities and reducing risk – nobody ever got fired for hiring from Harvard etc….

J Thomas July 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Large investment banks and law firms have essentially admitted that what they really want in their undergrad hires is a relentless will to compete and lots of ambition to get rich, as these personality traits benefit their firms.

Some years ago my girlfriend was teaching at a predominantly black college, and she got her brother to give a talk to the students about how to get a job at his investment bank.

He explained that they used to hire the best students they could get from Ivy-League schools. But then they noticed that to get those students they had to pay top price. And their hires typically would stay a few years and then get a job elsewhere for even more money. The students with the relentless will to compete and the ambition to get rich were expensive and unreliable.

So he explained that after that, they looked for students who had kept news-paper delivery jobs for years. That’s hard work, and it doesn’t pay well. A job candidate who did that is more likely to work hard and stay with the company. They didn’t need top students from Ivy-League schools. They’d take top students from other schools, and also students from the “good” schools who looked like they’d work hard and not complain.

Much later, he complained to me that he was on call 24 hours a day and it was a problem for him. I pointed out that if they could get a night director who could do his job part of the time much cheaper, then they wouldn’t need to pay him the big bucks. He looked surprised at that, and then a bit flattered.

TallDave July 5, 2011 at 10:43 am

In fact, I really wish this test would be done in a large study, so that prospective students as well as society at large could evaluate and compare the objective value of offered degrees.

Floccina July 5, 2011 at 10:54 am

I do not think that Bryan’s question is good. Shouldn’t it be more like this:

Our story begins with a 22-year-old high school graduate who gets accepted to Harvard but knows an unscrupulous nerd who can hack into Harvard’s central computer and give him a fake diploma, complete with transcript and so he opts to save the 4 years. In the U.S. labor market, what is the present discounted value of that fake diploma?

JCD July 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

This post asserts that: “In most jobs they figure out your productivity within two or three months after training, if not sooner.”

This may or may not be true, but it’s mostly irrelevant to the hypothetical. It’s irrelevant because those with a degree from Harvard or Yale typically don’t take “most jobs”. Whether or not you can intuit the productivity of a secretary, carpenter, or salesman has no bearing on whether or not you can intuit the productivity of a consultant or investment banker. In fact, I would argue that, for many top earning professions, how successful you are, and how much money you earn, has very little to do with any objective measure of “productivity”.

Scoop July 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I’ll chime in with those who utterly disagree with the notion that most American elites do jobs that require extreme skill, intelligence and productivity.

This may be true in some tech jobs and some academic jobs in math/science/engineering. But for the rest of it, no. The average quality at Cravath, Swaine and Moore is probably better than at the firms that advertise on TV, but there are certainly people at the latter who are better than many who succeed at the former. Same is true of the NYT and the local in Memphis. And nearly every other field of endeavor where it’s impossible to measure performance absolutely objectively.

This notion that life is really a strong meritocracy seems one of your weakest beliefs. You needed to spend 10 years in real life, watching unskilled bozos who knew people and made friends getting promoted over good people — and “succeeding” in their new posts.

JCD July 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I also want to note that it’s difficult to image how one or two universities (e.g. Harvard and Yale) could be so far ahead of other universities in terms of the knowledge they impart to their students. Quite frankly, it is difficult to see how top state institutions don’t provide at least close to the same level of instruction when, most times, their faculty is from these elite institutions anyway. (Law schools are one great example – the faculty of even second tier law schools are mostly composed of top grads from top schools.)

a July 6, 2011 at 4:43 am

Surely *some* if not most of what the upper-class education offers isn’t education but networking and knowing how to deal with people of the upper classes.

C’mon, no university offers to provide credentials without attending the university. It would be easy to do, and if universities took their public-mission seriously they would do it, right?

Simon Lyall July 6, 2011 at 4:43 am

Thinking back to some recent cases I’ve seen in the news I would guess the guy should go for a government job, probably as an administrator in a large department. His Harvard Degree will allow him to apply several several steps higher up than he would otherwise.

It will be his first job and he won’t be expected to have a high degree of specialised knowledge (as would be the case if he pretended to be a doctor or engineer) so there is a good chance that while he might not be the “high flying” his employers had hoped the job (so he won’t be promoted far) the job he starts with will be well within his abilities.

How does an extra $20-40k per year sound?

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