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To Match or Not to Match? Optimal Wage Policy With Endogenous Worker Search Intensity

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Author Info

  • Fabien Postel-Vinay

    (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris)

  • Jean-Marc Robin

    (Universite Paris I)

Abstract

We consider an equilibrium search model with on-the-job search where firms set wages. When an employee receives an outside job offer, it is optimal for the employer to try to retain the employee by matching the offer. This results in a wage increase for the worker. However, if workers are able to vary their search intensity, then this `offer-matching' policy runs into a moral hazard problem. Knowing that outside offers lead to wage increases, workers tend to search more intensively, which is costly for the firms. Assuming that firms can commit never to match outside offers, we examine the set of firm types for which it is preferable to do so. In particular, we show that a plausible pattern is one where a `dual' labor market emerges, with `bad' jobs at low-productivity, nonmatching firms and `good' jobs at high-productivity, matching firms. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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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): 7 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 297-330

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:7:y:2004:i:2:p:297-330

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Related research

Keywords: Labor market frictions; Wage policy; Search intensity; Moral hazard;

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References

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  1. W. Bentley MacLeod & James M. Malcomson, 1986. "Implicit Contracts, Incentive Compatibility, and Involuntary Unemployment," Working Papers 585, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
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  11. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "The Distribution of Earnings in an Equilibrium Search Model with State-Dependent Offers and Counteroffers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 989-1016, November.
  12. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  13. Mortensen, Dale T. & Pissarides, Christopher A., 1999. "New developments in models of search in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 39, pages 2567-2627 Elsevier.
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