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Do Good Workers Hurt Bad Workers - or is it the Other Way Around?

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  • Moen, Espen R

Abstract

In this article, I study the effect of worker heterogeneities on wages and unemployment within the context of a directed search model. A worker's productivity in a given firm depends both on their type and on a worker-firm specific component. Firms advertise unconditional wage offers, and hire the most productive workers that show up. The resulting equilibrium is inefficient, as the wage premium paid to high-type workers is too high, and the number of high-type jobs too low compared to the output-maximizing solution. This reduces the welfare of high-type workers. My findings contrast with the findings in the literature on labour market segmentation, where the argument is that the existence of high-type workers forces down wages to low-type workers and thus reduces the welfare of this group.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3471.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3471

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Keywords: directed search; heterogeneous workers; labour market segmentation; unemployment; wage differentials;

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References

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  1. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1327-1340, September.
  2. Inderst, Roman & Müller, Holger M., 1999. "Competitive Search Markets with Adverse Selection," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 99-52, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  3. Michael Peters, 1995. "On the Equivalence of Walrasian and Non-Walrasian Equilibria in Contract Markets: The case of Complete Contracts," GE, Growth, Math methods 9507001, EconWPA.
  4. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy, Discrimination and Keynesian Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Kevin Lang & William T. Dickens, 1993. "Bilateral Search as an Explanation for Labor Market Segmentation and Other Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 4461, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Moen, E.R., 1995. "Competitive Search Equilibrium," Memorandum 37/1995, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  8. Lang, Kevin & Kahn, Shulamit, 1998. "The effect of minimum-wage laws on the distribution of employment: theory and evidence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 67-82, July.
  9. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  10. Kevin Lang & William T. Dickens, 1992. "Labor Market Segmentation, Wage Dispersion and Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 4073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion and Interindustry Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(1), pages 163-79, February.
  12. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Lang & Michael Manove & William T. Dickens, 2005. "Racial Discrimination in Labor Markets with Posted Wage Offers," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-145, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  2. Tomer Blumkin & Yossi Hadar & Eran Yashiv, 2009. "The Macroeconomic Role of Unemployment Compensation," CEP Discussion Papers dp0909, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Blumkin, Tomer & Hadar, Yossi & Yashiv, Eran, 2005. "Firm Productivity Dispersion and the Matching Role of UI Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 1733, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Maite Blázquez & Marcel Jansen, 2005. "Search, Mismatch and Unemployment," Labor and Demography 0510012, EconWPA.
  5. Michael Sattinger, 2003. "Overlapping Labour Markets," Discussion Papers 03-06, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  6. Adrian Masters, 2005. "Directed Search without Wage Commitment and the Role of Labor Market Institutions," Discussion Papers 05-02, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
  7. Inderst, Roman, 2005. "Competitive search markets with heterogeneous workers," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1525-1542, August.

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