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Reservation wages: explaining some puzzling regional patterns

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  • Paolo Sestito

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Eliana Viviano

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

Abstract

We use the Italian Labour Force Survey and the European Household Panel Survey to analyse the distribution of the reservation wages reported by jobseekers. In Italy, reservation wages appear to be higher in the South - the low income and high unemployment area of the country - than in the North and Centre. A similar, rather counterintuitive, pattern, however, can also be found in Finland, France and Spain. First, we show that the way in which these data are commonly collected generates double selection bias. Second, we show that this bias has a strong effect on the estimation of the geographical pattern of reservation wages in many countries. The size of this bias is substantial in Italy. When controlling for it, reservation wages are 10 per cent higher in the North and Centre than in the South.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 696.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_696_08

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Keywords: reservation wages; sample selection; regional differentials;

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References

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  1. Franco Peracchi, 2002. "The European Community Household Panel: A review," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 63-90.
  2. Tito Boeri & Pietro Garibaldi, . "Shadow Activity and Unemployment in a Depressed Labor Market," Working Papers 177, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  3. Harry J. Holzer, 1986. "Reservation Wages and Their Labor Market Effects for Black and White Male Youth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(2), pages 157-177.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Stephan Danninger & Massimo Rostagno, 1999. "Redistribution Through Public Employment: The Case of Italy," NBER Working Papers 7387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ugo Trivellato & Anna Giraldo, 2003. "Assessing the "Choosiness" of Job Seekers. An Exploratory Approach and Evidence for Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 925, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Addison, John T. & Centeno, Mario & Portugal, Pedro, 2004. "Reservation Wages, Search Duration, and Accepted Wages in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1252, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2002-07 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Addison, John T. & Machado, José & Portugal, Pedro, 2010. "The Reservation Wage Unemployment Duration Nexus," IZA Discussion Papers 5077, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Antonio Accetturo & Luigi Infante, 2011. "Skills or culture? An analysis of the decision to work by immigrant women in Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 815, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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