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Job auctions and hold-ups

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  • Jansen, Marcel

Abstract

We consider a labor market with search frictions in which firms need to invest in capital before they can post a vacancy. This assumption creates a natural scope for hold-up problems, but the innovation of our study is that we allow for competition among the applicants who apply for the same job. In our economy all applicants are paid their actual marginal product. Nonetheless, with random search there exists a hold-up problem, leading to underinvestment in capital. On the contrary, if workers can direct their search towards firms with different capital levels, the equilibrium is efficient. This result contrasts sharply with the predictions of models with ex-post bargaining that never yield an efficient allocation. Moreover, our results extend the efficiency of auction mechanisms to an environment with non-contractible investments.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 608-619

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:17:y:2010:i:3:p:608-619

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

Related research

Keywords: Hold-up Search Efficiency Auctions;

References

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  1. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. James Albrecht & Pieter Gautier, 2004. "Equilibrium Directed Search with Multiple Applications," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 330, Econometric Society.
  3. Kultti, Klaus, 1999. "Equivalence of Auctions and Posted Prices," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 106-113, April.
  4. Julien, B. & Kennes, J. & King, I., 1998. "Bidding for Labour," Discussion Papers dp98-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  5. Inderst, Roman, 2005. "Competitive search markets with heterogeneous workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1525-1542, August.
  6. Acemoglu, Daron, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804, August.
  7. Michael Peters, 1998. "Limits of Exact Equilibria for Capacity Constrained Sellers with costlySearch," Working Papers peters-98-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  8. Masters, Adrian M, 1998. "Efficiency of Investment in Human and Physical Capital in a Model of Bilateral Search and Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 477-94, May.
  9. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Laing, Derek & Palivos, Theodore & Wang, Ping, 1995. "Learning, Matching and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 115-29, January.
  11. Acemoglu, Daron & Shimer, Robert, 1999. "Holdups and Efficiency with Search Frictions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(4), pages 827-49, November.
  12. Hosios, Arthur J, 1990. "On the Efficiency of Matching and Related Models of Search and Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(2), pages 279-98, April.
  13. Peters, Michael & Severinov, Sergei, 1997. "Competition among Sellers Who Offer Auctions Instead of Prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 141-179, July.
  14. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1993. "Investments, Holdup, and the Form of Market Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 811-37, September.
  15. Kenneth Burdett & Shouyong Shi & Randall Wright, 2001. "Pricing and Matching with Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 1060-1085, October.
  16. Michelacci, Claudio & Suarez, Javier, 2002. "Incomplete Wage Posting," CEPR Discussion Papers 3658, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Shouyong Shi, 2002. "A Directed Search Model of Inequality with Heterogeneous Skills and Skill-Biased Technology," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 467-491.
  18. Shi, Shouyong, 2001. "Frictional Assignment. I. Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 232-260, June.
  19. Steven J. Davis, 2001. "The Quality Distribution of Jobs and the Structure of Wages in Search Equilibrium," NBER Working Papers 8434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Klaus Kultti & Toni Riipinen, 2003. "Multilateral and Bilateral Meetings with Production Heterogeneity," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 27-37, Spring.
  2. Fabien Tripier, 2010. "The Efficiency of Training and Hiring with Intra firm Bargaining," Working Papers hal-00449625, HAL.
  3. Klaus Kultti, 2003. "About Market Structure," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 240-251, January.
  4. John Kennes, 2004. "Competitive Auctions: Theory and Application," Discussion Papers 04-16, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.

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