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Frictional wage dispersion with Bertrand competition: an assessment

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  • Tamas Papp

    (Institute for Advanced Studies)

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    Abstract

    I examine whether a version of the Cahuc et al. (2006) model can match the magnitude of wage dispersion, as measured by the ratio of the average and the lowest wage - the so-called mean-min ratio of Hornstein et al. (2011). I find that the workers' bargaining power is a crucial parameter: the mean-min ratio strictly decreases in the bargaining power up to a point near 1/2 and is essentially flat thereafter, generating the same amount of wage dispersion as the canonical wage ladder model, which is a special case of the CPVR model. Consequently, this model can yield large wage dispersion only for low bargaining power on the workers' side. I show that the share of job-to-job transitions with wage drops is decreasing in the bargaining power, calibrate the latter to the former, and demonstrate that the CPVR model generates an empirically plausible amount of wage dispersion. I also show that negative wages arise when workers have no bargaining power, and discuss the implications for the empirical findings of Postel-Vinay and Robin (2002b). (Copyright: Elsevier)

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2013.02.002
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 540-552

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    Handle: RePEc:red:issued:09-187

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    Keywords: Wage dispersion; Mean-min ratio; Frictions; Labor market;

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    References

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    1. Éva Nagypál, 2006. "On the extent of job-to-job transitions," 2006 Meeting Papers, Society for Economic Dynamics 10, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Shouyong Shi, 2009. "Directed Search for Equilibrium Wage-Tenure Contracts," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 561-584, 03.
    3. Pierre Cahuc & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2003. "Wage bargaining with on-the-job search : theory and evidence," Research Unit Working Papers, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA 0212, Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquee, INRA.
    4. Tjaden, Volker & Wellschmied, Felix, 2012. "Exploring the Causes of Frictional Wage Dispersion," IZA Discussion Papers 6299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    13. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    14. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell & Giovanni L. Violante, 2005. "Unemployment and vacancy fluctuations in the matching model: inspecting the mechanism," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 19-50.
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