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Social Preferences, Skill Segregation and Wage Dynamics

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  • Antonio Cabrales
  • Antoni Calvó-Armengol
  • Nicola Pavoni

Abstract

We study the earning structure and the equilibrium assignment of workers to firms in a model in which workers have social preferences and skills are perfectly substitutable in production. We allow firms to offer long terms contracts and for frictions in the labour market in the form of mobility costs. For low moving costs between firms, heterogeneous productivities lead to widespread workplace skill segregation and the whole market wage dispersion is explained by between firms differences. In a labor market with intermediate levels of mobility costs, segregation is more moderate and wage dispersion arises both within and across firms. For high levels of moving costs the whole wage dispersion is within the firm, and becomes zero when the moving costs are sufficiently high. We show that long terms contracts in the presence of social preferences associate within-firm wage dispersion with novel "internal labor market" features such as a dynamic form of wage compression, gradual promotions, and wage non-monotonicity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 181.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:181

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  1. Hibbs Jr., Douglas A. & Locking, Håkan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence For Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 21, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  2. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Guth, Werner & Schmittberger, Rolf & Schwarze, Bernd, 1982. "An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 367-388, December.
  4. Patrick Legros & Andrew F. Newman, 2002. "Monotone Matching in Perfect and Imperfect Worlds," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(4), pages 925-942.
  5. Roland Benabou, 1991. "Workings of a City: Location, Education, and Production," NBER Technical Working Papers 0113, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Pedro Rey-Biel, 2007. "Inequity Aversion and Team Incentives," Working Papers 319, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  7. Schelling, Thomas C, 1969. "Models of Segregation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 488-93, May.
  8. Fershtman, C. & Weiss, Y. & Hvide, H.K., 2001. "Status Concerns and the Organization of Work," Papers 2001-2, Tel Aviv.
  9. Patrick Legros & Andrew Newman, 2007. "Beauty is a beast, frog is a prince: assortative matching in a nontransferable world," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7022, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  10. Frank, Robert H, 1984. "Are Workers Paid Their Marginal Products?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 549-71, September.
  11. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680.
  12. Nicola Pavoni, 2009. "Optimal Unemployment Insurance, With Human Capital Depreciation, And Duration Dependence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 323-362, 05.
  13. de Bartolome, Charles A M, 1990. "Equilibrium and Inefficiency in a Community Model with Peer Group Effects," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(1), pages 110-33, February.
  14. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1988. "Self-enforcing Wage Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(4), pages 541-54, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Antonio Cabrales & Antoni Calvó-Armengol, 2005. "Aversion to Inequality and Segregating Equilibria," Working Papers 177, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  2. Antonio Cabrales & Raffaele Miniaci & Marco Piovesan & Giovanni Ponti, 2010. "Social Preferences and Strategic Uncertainty: An Experiment on Markets and Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2261-78, December.
  3. Oded Stark & Walter Hyll, 2011. "On the Economic Architecture of the Workplace: Repercussions of Social Comparisons among Heterogeneous Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 349 - 375.
  4. Cabrales, Antonio & Calvó-Armengol, Antoni, 2008. "Interdependent preferences and segregating equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 99-113, March.
  5. Fredrik Andersson & Mónica García-Pérez & John C. Haltiwanger & Kristin McCue & Seth Sanders, 2010. "Workplace Concentration of Immigrants," NBER Working Papers 16544, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Felix Bierbrauer & Nick Netzer, 2012. "Mechanism design and intentions," ECON - Working Papers 066, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2014.
  7. Alain Cohn & Ernst Fehr & Lorenz Goette, 2013. "Fair wages and effort provision: Combining evidence from the lab and the field," ECON - Working Papers 107, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Antonio Cabrales, 2010. "The causes and economic consequences of envy," SERIEs, Spanish Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 371-386, September.

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