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Social Preferences, Skill Segregation, and Wage Dynamics

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  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Antoni Calv�-Armengol
  • Nicola Pavoni

Abstract

We study the earning structure and the equilibrium assignment of workers to firms in a model in which workers have social preferences, and skills are perfectly substitutable in production. Firms offer long-term contracts, and we allow for frictions in the labour market in the form of mobility costs. The model delivers specific predictions about the nature of worker flows, about the characteristics of workplace skill segregation, and about wage dispersion both within and across firms. We show that long-term contracts in the presence of social preferences associate within-firm wage dispersion with novel "internal labour market" features such as gradual promotions, productivity-unrelated wage increases, and downward wage flexibility. These three dynamic features lead to productivity-unrelated wage volatility within firms. Copyright 2008, Wiley-Blackwell.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-937X.2007.00460.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal The Review of Economic Studies.

Volume (Year): 75 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 65-98

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Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:75:y:2008:i:1:p:65-98

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  1. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y. & Hvide, H.K., 2001. "Status Concerns and the Organization of Work," Papers 2001-2, Tel Aviv.
  2. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2002. "Monotone Matching in Perfect and Imperfect Worlds," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 925-942.
  3. Nicola Pavoni, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance, With Human Capital Depreciation, And Duration Dependence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 323-362, 05.
  4. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  5. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2007. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Working Papers 319, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-82, October.
  7. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 2007. "Beauty is a beast, frog is a prince: assortative matching in a nontransferable world," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7022, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  9. Frank, Robert H, 1984. "Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 549-71, September.
  10. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
  13. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  14. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Felix Bierbrauer & Nick Netzer, 2012. "Mechanism Design and Intentions," Working Paper Series in Economics 53, University of Cologne, Department of Economics, revised 21 Aug 2012.
  2. Fredrik Andersson & Monica Garcia-Perez & John Haltiwanger & Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2010. "Workplace Concentration of Immigrants," Working Papers 10-39r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Nov 2011.
  3. Cabrales, Antonio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni, 2008. "Interdependent preferences and segregating equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 99-113, March.
  4. Cabrales Goitia Antonio & Calvó-Armengol Antoni, 2007. "Aversion to Inequality and Segregating Equilibria," Working Papers 201083, Fundacion BBVA / BBVA Foundation.
  5. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll, 2011. "On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 349 - 375.
  6. Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2013. "Fair wages and effort provision: Combining evidence from the lab and the field," ECON - Working Papers 107, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2009. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," Working Papers 2009-09, FEDEA.
  8. Antonio Cabrales, 2010. "The causes and economic consequences of envy," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 371-386, September.

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