Job Rents in a Stylized Labor Market
AbstractWage formation is often analyzed by assuming that wage differentials reflect productivity differentials intrinsic to the workers, like differences in skill or qualification. Observed industry and firm effects on wages suggests, however, that wage differentials may result from causes rather unrelated to intrinsic productivity. This paper considers the polar case of homogeneous labor. The wage differentials emerging here are, thus, unrelated to individual differences. The model used is of an economy with a segmented labor market in which the primary sector industries are characterized by high turnover costs. This induces firms to pay efficiency wages reflecting turnover costs. The turnover case offers some rather surprising yet straightforward conclusions regarding efficiency, discrimination and taxation: Workers capture job rents; wage dispersion is too high; considerable wage differentials may arise from infinitesimally small differences in productivity; and a progressive wage tax will be welfare-enhancing.
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This item is provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Chapters in Economics with number 1254.
wage structure; efficiency wages; dual labor market; discrimination; turnover; wage taxation; income taxation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
- J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
- J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
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