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Interdependent Preferences and the Competitive Wage Structure

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  • Robert H. Frank

Abstract

This article shows by example that when workers care about relative income and are free to choose their coworkers, the equilibrium distribution of wages within firms must be less dispersed than the corresponding distribution of marginal products. An implicit market for within-firm status is shown to produce welfare gains by sorting workers among firms in accordance with how much they are willing to pay for high rank. The resulting equilibrium Pareto dominates allocations in which each worker is paid his marginal product.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (1984)
Issue (Month): 4 (Winter)
Pages: 510-520

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:15:y:1984:i:winter:p:510-520

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Cited by:
  1. John Komlos & Peter Salamon, 2005. "The Poverty of Growth with Interdependent Utility Functions," CESifo Working Paper Series 1470, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Fabio Maccheroni & Massimo Marinacci & Aldo Rustichini, 2008. "Social Decision Theory: Choosing within and between Groups," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 71, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Glazer, Amihai & Kanniainen, Vesa & Poutvaara, Panu, 2004. "Initial Luck, Status-Seeking and Snowballs Lead to Corporate Success and Failure," IZA Discussion Papers 1426, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kai A. Konrad & Florian Morath, 2011. "Aspirations of the middle class: voting on redistribution and status concerns," Working Papers aspirations_of_the_middle, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  5. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2012. "Money and rank in the labor market," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 325-328.
  6. Ok, Efe A. & Sethi, Rajiv & Kockesen, Levent, 1997. "Interdependent Preference Formation," Working Papers 97-18, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  7. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2007. "Personnel Economics: The Economist's View of Human Resources," NBER Working Papers 13653, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Greiner, Ben & Ockenfels, Axel & Werner, Peter, 2011. "Wage transparency and performance: A real-effort experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 236-238, June.
  9. Alison L Booth & Gylfi Zoega, 2005. "Worker Heterogeneity, Intra-firm Externalities and Wage Compression," Birkbeck Working Papers in Economics and Finance 0515, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  10. Stark, Oded & Hyll, Walter, 2011. "On the economic architecture of the workplace: Repercussions of social comparisons among heterogeneous workers," MPRA Paper 28910, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Kai A. Konrad & Florian Morath, 2011. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Taxation," Working Papers social_mobility_and_redis, Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance.
  12. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2009. "The importance of relative performance feedback information: evidence from a natural experiment using high school students," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28520, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Kidd, Michael & Nicholas, Aaron & Rai, Birendra, 2013. "Tournament outcomes and prosocial behaviour," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 387-401.

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