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Wage/tenure contracts with heterogeneous firms

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  • Burdett, Ken
  • Coles, Melvyn

Abstract

This paper investigates equilibria where firms post wage/tenure contracts and risk averse workers search for new job opportunities whether employed or unemployed. We generalize previous work by assuming firms have different productivities. Equilibrium implies more productive firms always offer more desirable contracts. Thus workers never quit from more productive firms for less productive firms. Nevertheless turnover is inefficient as employees with long tenures at low productivity firms may reject outside job offers from more productive firms. A worker who quits to a more productive firm may accept a wage cut. Such wage cuts are compensated by faster "promotion" rates to higher wage levels in the future. We also generalize previous arguments by showing equilibria exist where the distribution of offers contains interior mass points and find equilibrium wage/tenure contracts need not be smooth.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 1408-1435

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:145:y:2010:i:4:p:1408-1435

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622869

Related research

Keywords: Search Wage Tenure Contracts Turnover Unemployment;

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References

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  1. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, 03.
  2. Albrecht, James W & Axell, Bo, 1984. "An Equilibrium Model of Search Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 824-40, October.
  3. Cahuc, Pierre & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Robin, Jean-Marc, 2003. "Wage Bargaining with On-The-Job Search: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 4154, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005. "Do wages rise with job seniority? A reassessment," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
  6. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & Van den Berg, Gerard J, 1999. "An Empirical Equilibrium Job Search Model with Search on the Job and Heterogeneous Workers and Firms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 1039-74, November.
  7. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii, 2009. "Occupational Specificity Of Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(1), pages 63-115, 02.
  8. Léonard,Daniel & Long,Ngo van, 1992. "Optimal Control Theory and Static Optimization in Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521331586, April.
  9. Margaret Stevens, 2004. "Wage-Tenure Contracts in a Frictional Labour Market: Firms' Strategies for Recruitment and Retention," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(2), pages 535-551, 04.
  10. Ken Burdett & Melvyn Coles, 2003. "Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1377-1404, 09.
  11. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 1992. "The Effects of Labor Market Experience, Job Seniority, and Job Mobility on Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 4133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority and Earnings," Working papers 407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  13. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-22, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Rasmus Lentz, 2014. "Optimal Employment Contracts with Hidden Search," NBER Working Papers 19988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Eric Smith & Carlos Carrillo Tudela, 2007. "Wage Dispersion and Wage Dynamics Within and Across Firms," 2007 Meeting Papers 615, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Wright, Randall, 2010. "Introduction to Search Theory and Applications," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(4), pages 1319-1324, July.
  4. Xiao, Chaoqun & Tang, Wansheng & Zhao, Ruiqing & Zhou, Chi, 2013. "Equilibrium search with heterogeneous firms, workers and endogenous human capital," MPRA Paper 52136, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Amanda Gosling & Mathan Satchi, 2014. "Separation incentives and minimum wages in a job-posting search framework," Studies in Economics 1401, Department of Economics, University of Kent.

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